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Who was Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, The Dead Nun Whose Body Thousands are Flocking to See?

Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, the founder of the Benedictine Sisters of Mary in Gower, passed away in May 2019 at the age of 95. Her corpse was interred on the chapel grounds. The nun’s body had not decomposed when the convent recently chose to relocate her bones to the alter underneath the chapel.

The nun’s remains was reportedly in “excellent condition” despite being interred in a straightforward wooden casket that was even cracked without embalming four years prior.Following the strange discovery, word of it spread on social media, and thousands of people have already made their way to the convent in the sleepy Missouri hamlet of Gower to see Lancaster’s body.

Even though it’s a difficult journey to the convent, as reported by KCTV 5 News, a large number of Americans, including those from Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, are making the trip to view what has been dubbed a miracle.

“This is something I didn’t want to miss because it’s once in a lifetime, okay?” said Parfait Miaktsindila to KCTV5 News. “Seeing miracles like this, it strengthens our faith so I would encourage other people to come with their own eyes and see and visit what we have seen today.”

What you need to know about the woman who saw Jesus at her first communion at age 9 is that Lancaster founded the convent in Gower at the age of 70.

According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Lancaster was the second of five children who grew up in a religious home. She was born Mary Elizabeth Lancaster in St. Louis in 1924. As she went through a white neighborhood to her house after school, Lancaster earned the moniker “chocolate drops” during the time of segregation, according to CNA, who also noted that her classmates made fun of her since she was the lone Catholic.

Her parents were forced to establish a Catholic high school so that she and other Black kids could attend when the Catholic high school in her neighborhood quickly became segregated. In her biography, Lancaster stated that her “parents, who did not want me to attend the public high school, got to work and founded St. Joseph’s Catholic High School for Negroes, which lasted until Archbishop Ritter put an end to segregation in the diocese.”

Before joining the Oblate Sisters of Providence, where she served for 50 years under oath, Lancaster went on to graduate from the institution as valedictorian. According to history professor Shannen Dee Williams of OSV News, the Oblate Sisters are one of eight historically Black orders in American history and the first Roman Catholic sisterhood founded by women of African descent in both the country and the contemporary era. The Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, which Lancaster created in 1995, are one of three other orders that the Sisters later inspired.

With assistance from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, she founded the group under the name Oblates of Mary, Queen of Apostles in the Pennsylvanian diocese of Scranton. Later, the community changed its name to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles and relocated to a remote location inside the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

As evidence of Lancaster’s holiness, her body was characterized as “incorrupt” four years after she passed away. She was fond of the Blessed Mother. She would tell everyone arriving here to do it. Rosary prayer. Remember to say the rosary. the Blessed Mother with love. Mother Cecilia remarked to the CNA, “She adores you.

Lancaster’s body is planned to be on display through Monday, May 29 for people to pray with and even touch. It is unclear whether there will be an investigation to examine her remains scientifically. All the same, Lancaster’s story “embodies the fundamental truth that Black history is and always has been Catholic history in the U.S.,” said Williams.

Written by PH

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