The baby Jesus statue was resting in a manger filled with hay when it was stolen from the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Wichita, and the church says this is why it can’t have nice things.
Baby Jesus was chained to the manger, leaving the church’s manger destroyed after the statue went missing from 124 N. Roosevelt in College Hill.
The church believes baby Jesus was stolen the night of Jan. 3, or early morning on Jan. 4 — just a few days before the Epiphany on Jan. 6.
The nativity scene can be seen outside the front of the church every year between Advent and the Epiphany, said Randi Marino with the Church of the Blessed Sacrament.
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Now, a sign is staked right in front of the life-size nativity and broken manger: “Baby Jesus was STOLEN! Please pray for his return.”
In smaller letters, the sign reads: “This is why we can’t have nice things.”
Baby Jesus went missing just one year after the church’s lamb statue was also stolen from the same nativity scene.
Both the lamb and baby Jesus were stolen right before each year’s Epiphany on Jan. 6 — also known as Three Kings’ Day, which marks the end of the Christmas season for many Christians.
The lamb has still not been returned.
Marino said police have not been notified.
“The likelihood of retrieval is so low it is not worth their time,” she said.
Still, the church said on Facebook that they would love to have their baby Jesus back — no questions asked.
The lamb and baby Jesus are not the first items to have been stolen from the nativity scene at Blessed Sacrament.
In 2009, two kings, a shepherd and a sheep were stolen from the life-size nativity between Dec. 29 and Dec. 30. Both a king and shepherd were returned.
Before that, many other statues had gone missing — including a camel.
The set was given to Blessed Sacrament by a church member nearly 35 years ago, and it originally had 30 pieces — about half of them sheep.