The statue was stolen in the 1930s and was returned to the church earlier this year. It will appear on display at Our Lady of Grace and St. Joseph in Hoboken, where baby Jesus will be placed in a cardboard box as a reminder of where it came from and the mystery surrounding it.
The stolen statue was found inside a suspicious package in March of this year. Father Alexander Santora said he originally called the police after finding the unknown package. When the officers confirmed that the package was safe, Santora found a statue with a note explaining that it had been stolen back in the 1930s and had been a part of the sender’s family for all these years, originally coming into the possession of the sender’s grandfather.
“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,” the note read.
Santora told NBC4 that no one in the church knew that it had been stolen and that it was a “surprise” to find both baby Jesus and a note.
“I think that was the message that I took from it,” Santora said. “That it’s never too late to do the right thing.”