Hundreds of people in the US are drawn to the uncorrupted body of a Nun who died in 2019 (photo)

In those two weeks, hundreds of people flocked to a small town in the US state of Missouri to see the body of an African-American nun, which has hardly decomposed since 2019.

Some say it is a sign of holiness in Catholicism, while others say that non-decomposition of the body of the deceased may not be as rare as people think.

According to a statement from the Benedictine Abbey of Mary, Queen of Midwifery in Gower, Missouri, Sister Willemina of Lancaster was exhumed last April.

The statement said the nuns of the convent are preparing to add a shrine to Saint Joseph, which includes “the reburial of the remains of our beloved founder, Sister Willemina.”

When the nuns exhumed Lancaster’s remains, they were told to expect only the bones, which had been buried four years earlier in a simple wooden coffin without any embalming.

Instead, the nuns found her entire body intact and “religious attire that had not completely changed its shape,” the statement said.

As a result, the nuns had no intention of announcing the reopening, but someone released a private email to the public, and “the news began to spread like wildfire.”

Volunteers and local law enforcement helped direct the crowds, which poured into the city of about 1,800 as citizens from across the country flocked to see and touch Lancaster’s body.

The monastery said in a statement that today, Monday, Lancaster’s body will be placed in a glass shrine in his church and visitors will still be able to see her body and take the earth from her grave, but they won’t be able to touch her.

The lack of bodily decomposition may not be as rare as people expect, said Rebecca George, an anthropology professor at the University of West Carolina in North Carolina.

She added that “mummification” of non-exhumed bodies is common at university facilities, and bodies can be kept for years if permitted.

She added that coffins and clothes also help preserve the bodies.

Source: Associated Press

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