Stolen Child Jesus image in Betis recovered

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Thursday, January 9, 2014


GUAGUA, Pampanga -- The stolen image of the Child Jesus in Betis has been recovered last Monday by an antique collector, who purchased it in Manila.

Reports said a collector and ecclesiastical artist Tom Joven tracked down the revered image of Child Jesus of Virgen de la Correa through his network of collector-friends. He eventually purchased the ivory parts, minus the wooden body, for P170,000.

Joven said that the parts were in a plastic bag. Upon purchasing the image, Joven immediately notified Church authorities.

Joven, who heads the Parish Pastoral Council of San Guillermo Parish of Bacolor and who also serves as member of the Tangible Heritage Committee of Archdiocesan Commission on Church Heritage (ACCH), reported his find to diocesan church authorities headed by Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David and the Pastoral Council of Betis as the image surfaced in the antiques market, days after it was reported to be missing.

Joven has offered to restore the image in preparation for its official turnover to diocesan and local church authorities in time for the celebration of the feast of Santo Niño Feast on January 19.

The ACCH circular acknowledged with gratitude the role that antique collectors played in the recovery of the Sto. Nino along with media entities, heritage advocates and netizens who helped spread the word about the theft of this treasured image which is imbued with priceless historical, cultural and spiritual meanings a special part of the Augustinian legacy in Betis.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 10, 2014.

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