I just came across two reports of the capture of the baby Jesus figure from Nativity scenes.
A topless Ukrainian feminist stole the infant from the Vatican Christmas crib in St. Peter’s square but didn’t get far. A report and video are here.
It also appears that a woman stole the infant Jesus from the manger outside Resurrection Church in Dubuque.
But at least in one parish here in Honduras stealing the baby Jesus is an annual event.
I don’t know the whole story, but here are snippets I've heard.
In Gracias, Lempira, the baby Jesus is often kidnapped soon after Christmas and sometimes held for ransom.
The kidnappers send regular messages from the Baby Jesus telling the church – or the owners of the manger scene – that He is doing well and is well-treated.
Sometimes the people are apprehended and a trial is held – complete with prosecuting and defense attorneys.
Sometimes the kidnappers, in defense, note that Jesus was left abandoned in the manger scene and they wanted to treat him better.
If anyone has heard about this tradition in other parts of Honduras or the world, please let me know. I’d love to pass the word around and let people know that we needn’t worry if the statue of the infant Jesus is stolen – or kidnapped.
Jesus is still here and will return, if you can't see Him.
|Nacimiento in Gracias - before the Christmas Eve Mass|