Stolen Jesus statue returned to Jersey City church

November 4, 2010 11:28:37 AM PDT
A statue of Jesus was stolen from Saint Aloysius Catholic Church in Jersey City has been recovered, officials said.The statue had been sold to a local bodega whose owner called police after learning of the theft, church officials confirmed.

Saint Aloysius Catholic Church is beautiful and grand.

Built in 1906, its sanctuary is filled with dozens of images of Jesus, not one more important than the next.

The statue called the Devino Nino vanished some time before mass last Sunday.

It symbolizes devotion to poor children throughout the world.

Saturday was a particularly busy day at the church.

There were two masses, a wedding and a baptism.

They usually don't stay open all day but they did on this day.

It wasn't until Sunday morning right before mass that someone noticed the Devino Nino was missing.

"When I announced that the statue was stolen, you could just hear the gasping and the disappointment of the people," said Father Joe D'Amico, a priest.

Father D'Amico says he was stunned.

It never even crossed his mind someone might steal from his church, especially since the writing is on the wall, literally!

Just above where the statue normally rests are the 10 Commandments.

Remember number 7? "Thou shall not steal".

"It was disappointing because it's a brand new devotion we initiated into the church. So more than a statue it's what it symbolizes," Father D'Amico said.

Father D'Amico is leading a church trip to Israel, and left right after Eyewitness News' interview.

Jersey City Police are investigating who took the statue, but no one at the church wants the person punished. They just wanted the statue returned.

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