St. Patrick's Church in Norristown celebrates Las Posadas

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St. Patrick's Church in Norristown celebrates Las Posadas. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on December 22, 2017. (WPVI)

It's a tradition that goes back centuries, the re-enactment of the pilgrimage to Bethlehem by Joseph and Mary looking for a Posada, an Inn where they can spend the night for the birth of Jesus Christ.

For nine nights beginning December 16, parishioners from St. Patrick's Church in Norristown go to pre-selected homes looking for a place for the birth of Jesus, singing in Spanish. The procession is led by Joseph and Mary as they beg for lodging.

Father Gus Puleo of St. Patrick's Church said, "And there's another group inside answering, 'we don't have lodging, we have no room.' So we go on like that for a while."

After some back and forth, an Inn keeper realizes they are Joseph and Mary and finally welcomes them in for a major celebration with song, and plenty of food.

Of course no Mexican celebration would be complete without a Piñata for the kids.

To be a hosts for one of these events is very competitive. People try to get on the list a year in advance for those chosen. It is a deep honor.

Host Anna Ortiz said, "We believe in Jesus and Mary."

And even the children are honored. As many as 50 guests were hosted Friday night.

"I feel good about having everybody here," said Madeline Ortiz of the Host family.

Las Posadas is celebrated chiefly in Latin American and by a growing number of immigrants in the United States.

"It's a wonderful, wonderful custom, it's a Mexican custom and they do it all the time. We've been doing it for years even before I got here, I've been here seven years, but they've been doing it for many years," Father Puleo said.

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