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The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum will celebrate an old tradition with the annual Blessing of the Fields procession beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, May 13 at the museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road.
The colorful procession around the museum grounds begins with the blessing the animals, plants and acequia. Visitors who come to the museum to participate in the procession from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. will not be charged admission.
The event begins with the Prayer of the Four Directions, led by Patrick Narvaez, 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. Other museum art and objects related to San Ysidro and the blessing of the fields tradition from the museum's collection will be on display, including a large wooden statue of San Ysidro.
The museum will also have a plant sale as part of the festivities. Vegetables, flowers and desert plants grown in the museum’s greenhouse will be featured in the sale.
This marks the 22nd 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.
For more information, call 575-522-4100.