New Jersey church shocked after Jesus statue stolen 90 years ago is returned

A New Jersey church was in disbelief after a baby Jesus statue stolen nearly 90 years ago from the place of worship was returned Wednesday.

The Rev. Alex Santora said a suspicious package was delivered to Our Lady of Grace Church in Hoboken, with no return address. He called the shipping company to see where it came from but only found it was sent from Crystal Springs, Fla., NJ.com reported. The reverend then called the police to inspect the mysterious parcel.

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After police determined the package was safe, it was opened, revealing the baby Jesus statue and a note dated Jan. 2, 2018 that detailed how the sender’s grandfather received it in the 1930s.

Note and Jesus

The statue was sent in a box with a note explaining how the sender received it.  (WABC)

The sender wrote the Jesus statue was stolen from the church’s outdoor nativity display in the early 1930s.

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"It came into [my mother's] father's possession somehow, and I don't know why he didn't return it," the sender wrote. "Instead, he gave it to my mother after she was married and she too kept it until her passing when it came to me. Knowing the story, I felt it should be returned to the rightful owner and you will find it enclosed."

Jesus

The statue will be used in the church's nativity set this Christmas.  (WABC)

Santora said he was never told of the statue but said it would likely be used in the church’s nativity set this Christmas, adding it is encouraging to see people do what is right even after decades.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.