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Stolen baby Jesus statue returned to church nearly 90 years later

Letters from Pasco County offered an explanation
Posted at 4:25 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 18:28:11-05

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Fla. — A stolen baby Jesus statue was returned to a New Jersey church nearly 90 years later.

Father Alexander Santora with Our Lady of Grace church in Hoboken, New Jersey said a box was mailed to them a few months ago. The box contained a letter with an explanation.

The letter stated, "My mom told me 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 1930s. It came into her father's possession somehow, and I don't know why he didn't return it."

It went on to say, "Knowing the story, I felt it should be returned to the rightful owner and you will find it enclosed."

Father Santora said he found out the box came from Crystal Springs, Florida.

"A handwritten address with no name, no return address just a tracking number," said Fr. Santora.

At first, he was suspicious since the box contained no return address.

"It was kind of suspicious. We called the Hoboken Police and asked them if they would come and check it out. They sent two officers," said Fr. Santora.

Fr. Santora said they have received two more anonymous letters likely from the same family.

"They spoke about their days at Lady of Grace and how they never meant to harm the church," said Fr. Santora.

He said the return of the statue should be a reminder to people to always do the right thing.

"For people to realize, you can always do the right thing no matter how long it is," said Fr. Santora.

"I'm gratified that people see in this little statue a symbol of something much greater which is the Christmas message, but I think the return of the statue is really a reminder until we do the right thing, it always eats at us or bothers us. Our conscious knows and I think it's great to start the new year with a clean conscious," he added.