The exhumed body of a Missouri nun who died four years back has reportedly been found intact with no signs of decomposition.

Following the "miraculous" discovery, hundreds of pilgrims are flocking to the town of Gower to have a look at the well-preserved body of the nun.

Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, who founded the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles in 1995, died in 2019 when she was 95 years old, reported the New York Post.

Clinton County Missouri Sheriff's Office officials are advising that area residents may experience a significant increase in traffic as people travel to Clinton County in observance of the event...

The body was exhumed last week so that her remains could be placed beneath the altar in the convent's chapel as per the usual practice.

One sister said they were told by cemetery personnel not to expect anything apart from bones since Lancaster was buried in a simple coffin made of wood without any embalming. The coffin had a crack down the middle. When Mother Abbess Cecilia Snell peered through the coffin, she was surprised to see the body was intact and had not decomposed.

"I thought I saw a completely full, intact foot and I said, 'I didn't just see that,'" Snell said. "So I looked again more carefully."

Snell is the current abbess of the community. It was her responsibility to examine the coffin first. She screamed when she reportedly saw Lancaster's foot with the still-intact sock that was placed on her when she was buried four years back.

I had the tremendous blessing today of venerating the possibly incorrupt body of Sister Wilhelmina, foundress of the Benedictines of Mary Queen of the Apostles in Gower, Missouri. I was also blessed...

The Benedictine nuns were stunned to see no signs of decay when the coffin was opened.

"We think she is the first African American woman to be found incorrupt," Snell said.

Even though the dirt that fell into the coffin had pushed down on her facial features, her "eyelashes, hair, eyebrows, nose and lips were all present," another nun noted.

The Roman Catholic Church has reportedly recorded several hundred instances of incorruptible bodies over the years. They believe it is a sign of holiness when a corpse is not affected by the natural process of decomposition.

The number of visitors to the Benedictine Monastery has increased after the well-preserved body was found.

Beth Vogel, who was a regular visitor, said the monastery normally gets less than 20 visitors a day but it has seen an average of over 100 daily visitors since the discovery.

A coffin
Representation. Pallbearers carrying a coffin during a funeral. carolynabooth/Pixabay