( 4UMF NEWS ) Newborn Found In Nativity Scene:
Just hours after entering the world, a baby boy was abandoned in a church nativity scene — an early Christmas surprise that earned him the nickname “Baby Jesus.”
And get this: The name of the Queens house of worship in Richmond Hill where the baby was found on Monday is the Holy Child Jesus Church. The full-term newborn was found swaddled in purple towels in the nativity’s crèche — where baby Jesus is found on Christmas morning.
Jose Moran, 60, a custodian at the church for three years, went to lunch and returned just after 1 p.m. He quickly got back to work — unaware of the newborn just a few feet away.
“I was in the church sweeping,” he told the Daily News. “Then I hear a child crying. I didn’t make much of it. I thought there was somebody in the church with a child.”
So, he went back to sweeping.
“I looked around and didn’t see anyone,” he recalled. “That got me curious. I followed the cries. I walked to the little nativity home we had installed inside the church … I couldn’t believe my eyes. The baby was wrapped in towels. He still had his umbilical cord. He was next to the Virgin (Mary).”
Moran said workers at the church finished setting up the wooden manger and crèche about an hour before the baby was found.
“At least whoever abandoned him brought him to a safe place and didn’t leave him to die,” he said.
The custodian shared the story with his wife.
“She asked me why I didn’t bring him home,” Moran laughed. “I hope he finds the right home. He’s a miracle baby.”
The baby was given a clean bill of health at Jamaica Hospital and was in the care of the Administration of Children’s Services Tuesday as cops try to track down the mom.
“God works in mysterious ways,” an overjoyed Father Christopher Heanue said Tuesday. “(The child’s mother) must have been in a difficult place in her life. She found in this crèche … this empty place where Jesus will be in a few weeks … as a home for her son.”
At least one parishioner has offered to adopt Baby Jesus, who is also being called John the Baptist, the prophet who heralded Jesus’ arrival.
“This child was … a kind of gift to the church in a poetic way, so we’d love to see it stay in the community,” Heanue said.
Police recovered surveillance video that shows the woman walking into the church with the baby and exiting a few minutes later empty handed.
Detectives also found video of the woman buying towels at the .99 Cents & Up Market on Jamaica Ave., about a block away from the church. The woman had the baby with her, bundled up inside her coat, when she walked in, store clerk John Lv, 28, said.
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