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The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces celebrates an old tradition with the annual Blessing of the Fields procession on Friday, May 12.
At 10 a.m., the colorful procession around the museum grounds begins with the blessing the animals, plants, and acequia. Visitors who participate in the procession from 10 to 11 a.m. will not be charged admission.
The event begins with the Prayer of the Four Directions, led by Patrick Narvaez, and Cacique of Corporacion de los Indigines de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Tortugas and Tortugas Pueblo.
Leading the procession will be Most Reverend Peter Baldacchino, Bishop of the Las Cruces Diocese. Students from Las Cruces Catholic Schools will be among the participants.
The bulto carried during the procession was created by Las Cruces artist Virginia Maria Romero.
The Museum holds a plant sale as part of the festivities. Vegetables, flowers and desert plants grown in the Museum’s greenhouse are featured in the sale.
This marks the 23rd year that the museum has held this program, which focuses on a long and rich history. San Ysidro, the patron saint of farmers, lived from 1070 to 1130. He worked in the fields for a wealthy landowner and was known for his devotion to God, his humility, and his generosity to those less fortunate than him.
The story of San Ysidro has been passed down through the generations and still inspires many farmers and their families in the Mesilla Valley. For many years, workers in San Miguel would make a pilgrimage each May, stopping at all the villages along the valley.