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Early Christmas miracle! Newborn baby found in manger at NYC church, umbilical still attached

Image: ABC-7 / Father Christopher Heanue
Image: ABC-7 / Father Christopher Heanue

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The nativity wasn’t supposed to be set up for a few more weeks, but a desperate New York City mother turned to the best place for her child: In the hands of God.

“Heard in the distance a baby crying,” the custodian at Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill, a neighborhood in Queens, told ABC-7.  He found a newborn baby, with its umbilical still attached, in the manger inside the church by the altar Monday afternoon.

Immediately, Father Christopher Heanue and emergency responders were called—they saw that the five pound, 17 inch long newborn was a healthy boy.  The baby was transported to Jamaica Hospital, and is doing fine, the station reported.

“God has a way of working mysteriously because I believe when this woman who came in with this child, saw this creche, this empty home, this home in which we’ll welcome Jesus in just a few short weeks,” Father Heanue said. “I believe she found in it a home for her child.”

“I was crying just watching the news,” parishioner Evelyn Plaza, who has attended the church for 25 years, said. “To me, I call him baby Jesus already, so he’s like a child is born, that’s the way I look at it, in the manger of Holy Child Jesus Church.”

Authorities are searching for the baby’s mother, but several parishioners have already offered to adopt the boy.  “I feel for the mother, for her sorrow, and for the feelings that she must be going through,” Father Heanue said.

Churches, by law, are safe havens for mothers to drop off babies they cannot care for, but normally they give the baby to a responsible adult, and not simply leave the child.

Watch ABC-7’s video report below.

The New York Daily News called the newborn a “manger miracle” in their Wednesday front page.

Whatever happens next with “baby Jesus,” he has started life very blessed.  Heanue wrote, “Let us pray for this child, for his parents and for whomever will receive him into their home.”

Steve Berman

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