The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum will celebrate an old tradition with the annual Blessing of the Fields procession on Wednesday, May 15.

Beginning at 10 a.m., the colorful procession around the Museum grounds begins, blessing the animals, plants, acequia and fresh-baked bread.

After a welcome by Museum Director Mark Santiago, there will be the Prayer of the Four Directions, led by Henry Narvaez, Patrick Narvaez, and Cacique of Corporacion de los Indigines de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Tortugas and Tortugas Pueblo.

Leading the procession this year and providing storytelling afterward for the students will be Most Reverend, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces and Reverend Alejandro Reyes of Hatch.

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.

Visitors who come to the Museum to participate in the procession from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. will not be charged admission. Students from Las Cruces Catholic Schools will be among the participants. After the procession, there will be storytelling for the children.

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.

At 1 p.m., a 37-minute documentary video called “Colcha Circle: A Stitch in Northern New Mexico Culture,” will be shown in the Museum’s theater. The video was produced by the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center. Colcha embroidery is a folk art, characteristic of Northern New Mexico history and traditions.

This marks the 20th year that the Museum has held the Blessing of the Fields 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. There would be a fiesta, with food and entertainment.

For more information, please call 522-4100.

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