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442-year-old image of Child Jesus stolen

GUAGUA, PAMPANGA – Parishioners here are calling for assistance to bring back a centuries-old image of Sto. Nino (Child Jesus) which was stolen last week.

CHILD Jesus of Virgen de la CorreaThe Saint James the Apostle Heritage Foundation, Inc. said the 442-year-old ivory image of the Child Jesus of Virgen de la Correa in Betis village here was stolen on December 30, 2013 before the town’s patron saint’s fiesta procession between 3 to 3:30 p.m. in anticipation for the New Year celebration.

Village people have also turned to social networking sites to ask for help to find the image which is considered as one of the legacies of the Augustinian Missionaries in the Philippines during the Spanish era.

The image has been a centerpiece in the old church since 1572.

Pampanga Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David also appealed for help for possible leads for the recovery of the image.

“We appeal to cultural heritage workers, antique collectors and to the public from the Archdiocesan Commission on Church Heritage of the Archdiocese of San Fernando to be on the look-out for the significant piece of Betis heritage and for possible leads that can help recover the image,” Bishop David said. (Mark Anthony N. Manuel)