MANILA, Jan. 31, 2013— Local Catholic authorities recovered an image of the Holy Child Jesus this week that had been stolen from a church in Romblon 22 years ago.
The revered image of the Nuestra Señor Sto. Niño de Romblon, placed at the altar of the Saint Joseph Cathedral, went missing in 1991.
Fr. Joebert Villasis of Aklan Catholic College said they recovered the image from an antique collector, who happens to be his friend, who had purchased it from an unidentified local antique dealer.
“I have a good friend who collects antique and one of his collections is the image of Sto. Niño. Everytime he has a new image, he always asked me about it,” Villasis said over Radio Veritas.
“The dealer told him that it’s the Sto. Niño De Romblon… I recall the missing Sto. Niño so I sought the assistance of my friend from Aklan Catholic College, Prof. Jun Mijare to identify the image,” he said.
It was only yesterday, he added, that they, together with Romblon Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona, were able to confirm that it was indeed the original statue of Sto. Niño de Romblon.
Without hesitation, Villasis said the owner immediately turned over the image to them.
On February 9, the Church will hold the re-enthronement of the image of Sto. Niño de Romblon at the St. Joseph Cathedral. (CBCPNews)