About one week after a baby Jesus was stolen from a manger filled with hay at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Wichita, the statue has been found.
“Hallelujah! The Baby Jesus is back!” the church posted on Facebook.
The church said baby Jesus was found in a yard in the College Hill neighborhood and brought to the parish office at 124 N. Roosevelt, also in College Hill, on Wednesday. No other details have been provided.
The church thinks the baby Jesus was stolen the night of Jan. 3 or early Jan. 4 – just a few days before the Epiphany, on Jan. 6.
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After it went missing, the church staked a sign right in front of the life-size nativity scene: “Baby Jesus was STOLEN! Please pray for his return.”
In smaller letters, the sign read: “This is why we can’t have nice things.”
This wasn’t the first time a statue was stolen – or returned.
Last year, a lamb was stolen from the same nativity scene. That one has still not been returned.
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.