Katharina Labouré, a member of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and a Marian visionary, died in 1876 and her well preserved state has left experts at a loss to explain the phenomenon.
In 1933, the tomb of Sister Katharina was opened by the Paris cardinal Verdier where they discovered that her body had not deteriorated. Even the blue in her eyes was still prominent, according to reports.
Following the discovery, Pope Pius XI ordered that the deceased nun be beatified and then canonised by Pope Pius XII 14 years later in 1947.
Such was the shock surrounding the discovery that her corpse had not degraded that officials ordered her body to be encased in a glass tomb at the monastery chapel Rue du Bac in Paris.
Born in 1806, Sister Katharina devoted her life to helping those less fortunate than her, and claimed to have been contacted by the Virgin Mary.
She believes that on July 19, 1830, the eve of the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul she was awoken by a voice beckoning her to a chapel where she heard the Virgin Mary.
The voice allegedly said: “God wishes to charge you with a mission.
“You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary.
“Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.”