“You've got to experience the magic and the miracle of it,” Tonya Kattner said.

“It’s a modern-day miracle and it was just something we had to come to,” William Kattner said. “Especially with everything going on in the world today, something like this brings hope.”

Kate and Peteh Jalloh of Kansas City, Missouri, also didn’t want to pass up the chance to see Sister Wilhelmina.

“I strongly believe in the Catholic faith. I believe in miracles and I have never seen anything like this before. I’ve got a lot going on in my life and this is the best time to get that message from a nun,” Kate Jalloh said.

“It could take another hundred years for us to see something like this,” she added.

Janie Bruck came with her cousins, Kristy Cook and Halle Cook, all from Omaha, Nebraska. 

“I came to witness the miracle. I believe we’re in a Jesus revolution and he’s sending us lots of signs,” Bruck said. Kristy Cook, a former Omaha police officer, said she was surprised that Sister Wilhelmina’s body had no odor of decay.

The sisters have publicly thanked the many local law enforcement officers, medical personnel, and volunteers who helped manage the influx of pilgrims over the holiday weekend.

Among the volunteers was Lucas Boddicker, of Kearney, Missouri, who joined members of his Knights of Columbus council based at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in nearby Plattsburgh, Missouri, to guide visiting vehicles to a makeshift parking lot in an open field. Other knights from local parishes helped set up tents and handed out free hamburgers, fruit, and bottles of water.

“That’s one thing the Knights do pretty well,” Boddicker said. “They get the word out when we need manpower.”

Priests heard confessions in a large grass field for hours, some using trees for shade, as young children played on the abbey grounds.

Three religious sisters from the Poor of Jesus Christ order, based in Kansas City, Kansas, said they were inspired by seeing Sister Wilhelmina’s body. 

One of the religious, Sister Azucena, said she “wanted to cry,” while praying at the nun’s side. “I just had this feeling of peace and love. We share a vocation. Her fidelity to the Lord and her love, I could feel that there,” she said.

A married couple, Jason and Jessica Ewell, both of whom are blind, were visiting Kansas City, Missouri, from Pennsylvania when they heard Monday morning about Sister Wilhelmina’s body.

“It’s just kind of a neat thing to be a part of the beginning of this story,” Jessica Ewell said.

“I was asking for her intercession for children for our marriage,” she said. “A lot of people think ‘Oh, it’s the blindness,’ but no, it’s not that at all,’” she said.

“Yesterday I was kind of in a place where I said, ‘God, I need something right now,’” she said. “We always hear about these miracles. But they’re long ago and far away and always happen to other people.”

Trish Bachicha, Jessica’s mother, said she believes that God is sending a message. 

“He saying ‘I’m alive and well and I haven’t forgotten you,’” she said.--CNA