A baby Jesus statue stolen from a New Jersey church nativity scene nearly a century ago went back on display this Christmas after finally being returned to the church. A pastor at the Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church in Hoboken told local news outlet WNBC the statue was returned to the church in a suspicious package and no return address, which prompted a visit from local police to verify that nothing dangerous was contained inside. Instead of any sort of incendiary device, Rev. Alexander Santora said he found a “surprise” inside the package—the long-missing baby Jesus statue and a note from the family who apparently had stolen it in the early 1930’s. “My Mom told me that the Baby Jesus had been stolen from the church Nativity display at Our Lady of Grace when she was a young girl of about twelve years of age in the early 1930’s,” the note reportedly read. The statue had remained in the family’s possession until recently, when the sender “felt it should be returned to the rightful owner.” The statue, which was returned in March but has only now been put back in the nativity scene for the first time since its disappearance, will be displayed in the cardboard box it was returned in to remind parishioners of the lessons of redemption and forgiveness.
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