A janitor at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross discovered that the fragment, kept in a small case in the base of a crucifix, was missing when he arrived to clean the chapel on July 1, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.
"Our prayers have been answered, God has blessed us with His love and capacity to forgive. We prayerfully carry on His call for forgiveness for those responsible," a statement from Boston's Catholic archdiocese said, adding thanks to the Boston and Vermont state police for their help in recovering the relic.
Police said they fielded many false leads, but the one that came on Aug. 9 from Royalton, Vt., turned out to be real.
Richard Duncan called police to say Earl Frost had information they should know about, the report said.
Frost, 34, told Vermont State Trooper Steven Cuttita he had an artifact stolen from a Boston church, the report said. Frost said he hadn't stolen the relic, but got it from someone in Rhode Island.
Frost was not charged with anything because the item's authenticity could not immediately be established, the Globe said. By the time authenticity was confirmed, Frost was gone.
Vermont State Police are seeking an arrest warrant against Frost for possession of stolen property.
The relic's dollar value is between $2,300 and $3,800, the police report said, but the church considered the relic to be priceless, the Globe reported.