By Joe Bollig
EASTON — If you drive outside of an urban area, you might see this bumper sticker or a variation thereof: “Eat today? Thank a farmer.”
Everyone will have a chance to thank — and pray for — farmers, farm families, rural businesses and rural communities at the annual St. Isidore the Farmer feast day celebration at noon on May 16 at Christ’s Peace House of Prayer, 22019 Meagher Rd., about two miles southwest of Easton.
Since the traditional feast day falls this year on Pentecost Sunday, the observance of the feast has been transferred to the following Monday.
St. Isidore and his wife St. Maria are the patron saints of farmers. At one time, the celebration of their feast day each spring was very popular in rural communities.
Christ’s Peace director Vince Eimer decided to revive the tradition and hosted the first St. Isidore’s celebration last year.
“This is a way to honor the very hardworking rural people who are oftentimes taken for granted by the rest of society,” said Eimer. “People think ‘food’ means you go to the grocery story, buy it and take it home to eat — and that’s all they think about it. They don’t take time to reflect that it takes the farmer and the rural community to make it possible for them to survive.”
The celebration will begin with a Mass in the chapel, followed by a short procession to an outdoor shrine dedicated to Sts. Isidore and Maria. There will be prayers for intercession at the shrine, followed by a return to the main building and a luncheon.
“We are asking people — whether they attend or not — to send us the names of their farms, businesses and families so we can pray for them by name at the Mass,” said Eimer. “We also ask that participants bring a small bag or container filled with dirt from their land so it can be blessed. When they return home, they can spread the blessed dirt around their property.”
The lunch is free, but Christ’s Peace needs to know how many people to prepare for, so interested parties should contact Eimer at (914) 773-8255, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.