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Las Posadas: Pray the Christmas Novena

Las Posadas: Pray the Christmas Novena

As you and your family enjoy your own customs and traditions surrounding your celebration of Advent and Christmas, we invite you to experience with us one of our cherished Advent traditions – our Christmas Novena of Las Posadas.

Las Posadas translated as “the inns or accommodations” has a rich tradition originating in Spain, the land of our holy Mother, Saint Teresa of Avila, and is a highly anticipated religious celebration in Mexican culture. Our Mother Foundress, Venerable Mother Luisita, carried this treasured tradition with her as she and our founding Sisters fled to the United States from the religious persecution in their native Mexico.

The traditional celebration of Posadas usually entails traveling to a different family’s house with the Peregrinos or pilgrims, Mary and Joseph, to knock on the door seeking shelter. When welcomed into the house where a place has been prepared for the Holy Family, the people pray together and then enjoy a meal. Starting nine days before Christmas, each evening, in every single one of our convents, our sisters gather to celebrate Posadas. Instead of going to different houses, we carry our Peregrinos, Joseph leading Mary on a donkey, to different rooms in the convent where we have prepared a special place for them. We pray the rosary together and yes, we enjoy a little treat…a spiritual gift of prayers and a dessert to enjoy after dinner.

Below you will find a reflection and prayers for each day of the Christmas Novena. Join us as we accompany Mary and Joseph on their journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and pray with us as we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus.

December 16…Day One

December 17…Day Two
December 18…Day Three
December 19…Day Four
December 20…Day Five
December 21…Day Six
December 22…Day Seven
December 23…Day Eight
December 24…Day Nine



Originally published on the website of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus of Los Angeles.  Used with permission. Artwork from their site as well.  Used with permission.

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About Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

PROMOTING A DEEPER SPIRITUAL LIFE THROUGH HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION AND RETREATS. The way of life of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the Gospel, the Church, and the spirituality of Carmel as lived out through the charism of our foundress, Venerable Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament. In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its foundation in a long history and living tradition. Our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service of the Church as we promote a deeper spiritual life among God's people through education, healthcare, and spiritual retreats. We are called by God to be a presence inflamed within our world, witnessing to God's love through prayer, joyful witness and loving service. Our mission flows from each sister's profound life of prayer as Mother Luisita, our foundress, wrote, "the soul of each Carmelite raises herself to Christ, Who is her heaven, while her shadow falls in charity upon earth doing good to all people."

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  • sonny

    The churches in the Philippines and Filipinos abroad celebrate a novena of votive Masses at dawn from Dec 16 to 24 in honor of the Blessed Virgin with Child. Vestments are white and the Gloria is recited. This has been done since Spanish times. This devotion finds its roots in Spain and Mexico.

    • LizEst

      Sounds beautiful! Thanks for sharing, sonny. God bless you!

      • sonny

        I’m eager to share this most wonderful tradition of the Philippine Church because I feel this devotion to the Blessed Mother of a whole country holds the line against the onslaught of secularism that is threatening the youngest daughter of the Church not unlike the struggles of the older siblings. Anyone in the US is more than welcome to hear one or all the Simbang Gabi Masses in parishes where Filipinos are (best bet – major cities (e.g. LA, Chicago)). They are in all states of the Union as far as I know.

        • NapLaly

          We have Simbang Gabi every afternoon/evening from 15th to 23rd Dec in Wisconsin sponsored by the different Filipino-American organizations.

          • sonny

            I’m glad Simbang Gabi is doing well in Wisconsin. I read that San Jose in CA has 20 parishes doing all 9 Masses. I think all this is pleasing to the Lord. UIOGD (That in all things God be glorified)

          • MariaGo

            Awesome! Love how Filipinos are spreading the faith all over the world! 😀

          • MariaGo

            Hooray for Filipinos spreading the faith all over the world! 😀

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