A suspicious package that ended up on the doorstep of a New Jersey church this week turned out to be an unexpected blessing, just in time for Easter.
And when police arrived to ensure everyone at Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken was safe, they discovered it was a special gift nearly 90 years in the making.
Wrapped in brown paper with no return address on the box, the staff found a baby Jesus statue with a note claiming it had been stolen from the Hoboken church in the 1930s.
The note read:
"To Whom it may concern,
My Mom told me that the Baby Jesus had been stolen from the church Nativity display at Our Lady of Grace when she was a young girl of about twelve years of age in the early 1930's. It came into her father's possession somehow, and I don't know why he didn't return it. 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."
Rev. Alex Santora told WCBS the unexpected return of the 1930's-era statue is like a gift from above.
"I think it's a sign that God has graced them to do the right thing," the pastor said.
Thankfully, the folks at Our Lady of Grace say the statue is the right fit for their nativity scene, where what's old will soon be new again this Christmas season.