Abandoned Baby Found in Church Nativity Scene Just Hours After Birth (PHOTOS)

nativityMost stories of abandoned babies have tragic endings, but the latest tale of a mother leaving her newborn infant is more miraculous than anything else. That's because this baby was found in -- of all places -- the manger of a church nativity scene by a custodian who got the surprise of his life!

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Custodian Jose Moran at Holy Child of Jesus church in Queens, New York, spent Monday morning setting up the nativity scene in the church, including an empty manger. He went on his lunch break, and when he returned, he followed the sound of a baby's cries to find that it wasn't empty anymore: A newborn male baby was lying in the manger, wrapped in towels, his umbilical cord still attached. The infant was immediately taken to the hospital by emergency workers, where doctors determined that he'd been born just four or five hours earlier, and that the boy was healthy, thankfully!

Authorities still aren't certain about the identity of the child's mother, though video footage shows a woman arriving with the baby between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and leaving empty-handed. And though New York has a "safe haven" law which protects anyone who leaves a baby in a designated location (such as a church, hospital, or firehouse) from prosecution, the woman might still face charges because she failed to alert authorities or even tell anyone at the church what she'd done.

Even so, the church was happy to welcome him.

On the church's Facebook page, Rev. Christopher Ryan Heanue posted the following message:

“For unto us a child is born. Let us pray for this child, for his parents and for whomever will receive him into their home.” 

Just look at this face:

And these tiny outstretched arms -- heartbreaking!

Rev. Heanue also told CBS that he didn't consider what the mother did an "abandonment" -- instead, she was "placing him in the hands of God."

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One parish family has reportedly already offered to adopt the baby, who has been nicknamed "Baby Jesus" (of course).

All that matters now is that the baby is healthy and safe, which truly makes this story a holiday miracle. So even though this story is sad on so many levels (one can't help but imagine the state this baby's mother must have been in, to give birth on her own and just hours later drop him off in a nativity scene manger), it's a hopeful one, too. Because there's no question that this baby will soon find a loving home. Whether or not his new parents choose to actually name him Jesus, on the other hand, remains to be seen!

 

Image via Thomas Hawk/Flickr

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