Cardinal Francis George will lead the Simbang Gabi mass this evening at Morton Grove's .
Simbang Gabi is a very important tradition among Filipinos that celebrates the Christmas season beginning on Dec. 16, nine days before Jesus' birth. During the nine days leading up to Dec. 25, devout Filipino Catholics attend midnight mass.
During this tradition, mass typically takes place either at midnight or early, sometimes at 4 a.m. Historically, the masses were held early enough so Filipino farmers could attend before returning to their crops and harvest. At the end of the nine days, the tradition welcomes Christmas day or the birth of Jesus.
What makes tonight's event special is the presence of Francis Cardinal George--the first Chicago-native to become Archbishop of Chicago. The Cardinal will lead tonight's evening mass that starts at 6:30 p.m.