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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower
1715 N. Zarzamora St., San Antonio, Texas 78201
La Gran Posada, a traditional Mexican Christmas celebration, will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16. The 19th annual event is free and open to the public.
The program will be presented by the Hispanic Heritage Society of San Antonio. It includes a medley of Hispanic Christmas songs, or villancicos, with Invocations to the Virgin Mary, the Litany and Cantos de las Posadas, along with traditional Christmas songs from around the world.
The audience is invited to join a procession around the interior of the Basilica, in a centuries-old traditional retelling of the biblical story of the Holy Family’s search for Jesus' birthplace.
Following the program, all are invited to the parish hall for la merienda: hot chocolate, buñuelos, and a piñata for the children.
On the program again this year is the musical group Voces de San Antonio joined by Young Voices of the Hispanic Heritage Society.
Little Flower Children’s Choir will also sing, and Little Flower School students will portray the roles of Mary, Joseph, the star, and heralds.
Musical design and artistic direction are by Cristina Ortega. An internationally known singer, Ms. Ortega was honored by the National Institute of Fine Arts (El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes) in Mexico City as «The Soprano of Mexico» in 2014 and 2015. In 2013, she was awarded the Grand Cross of Humanitarian Merit by the Institute of Humanitarian Merit (La Institución al Mérito Humanitario) in Barcelona, Spain. This award recognizes her promotion of the Hispanic arts and culture through her career on opera stages around the world and in Mexican radio and television programs, and through her work with the Hispanic Heritage Society.
The Basilica was the first national shrine in the U.S. dedicated to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the «Little Flower.» Home to three first-class relics of the saint, the Basilica has been under the direction of the Discalced Carmelite Friars of the Province of St. Thérèse since its groundbreaking in 1926.
The Shrine was both placed on the National Register of Historic Places and elevated to the status of Minor Basilica within the Catholic Church in 1998. The church is distinguished as one of only 86 in the US and one of only four in Texas bearing the papal designation of «minor basilica.»
For more information, call the Little Flower parish office at 210-735-9126.