These are special days for the families in Medjugorje as they harvest their grapes to begin the process of making their family wine for the year ahead.
September 24, 2009
These are special days for the families in Medjugorje as they harvest their grapes to begin the process of making their family wine for the year ahead. It is always a beautiful site to walk through the vineyards throughout the year, seeing all the various stages of development of the grapes, when they first appear on the vines in the spring, slowly getting larger throughout the summer months, and just as the weather begins to turn cool in the morning and evenings as autumn approaches, the grapes become fully ripened.
It doesn’t take long to harvest the grapes in individual vineyards, for some only a couple of hours, especially if all the family is helping. You can walk past a vineyard in the morning seeing all the juicy grapes hanging heavily on the vines, and a few hours later walk past only to see the grapes have disappeared, with no sign of anyone around. Yesterday, in one of the larger vineyards, four older Croatian women were singing a beautiful song in three part harmony as they made their way through the long aisles, tossing bunches of grapes into buckets as they walked along. When the buckets were filled, the older and younger men would carry them to the truck where a small child was sitting on top watching all the activity below while munching on a small cluster of grapes. It was a beautiful scene full of the richness of family life in its simplicity.
The life of the villagers of Medjugorje has changed a great deal since the apparitions began here 28 years ago, and many of their customs and traditions have gone to the wayside. That is why it is a joy to see this particular tradition of growing the grapes in the family vineyards to make their own family wine, still so much a part of their lives.
April 25, 1993
The message above was randomly opened up to in the Caritas Mission House during Morning Prayer, Thursday, September 24, 2009, with the Caritas community members who are in Medjugorje. Less than an hour later, the family who owns the vineyard just in front of the Mission House began harvesting their grapes. With camera in hand, they lived the message above with the added joy of being able to share this message and the life of the village of Medjugorje being lived in nature with all our mej.com viewers.
Below are pictures of Medjugorje grapes, Medjugorje vineyards and Medjugorje villagers who are taking in their harvest taken the morning of September 24, 2009. These are the grapes that have been kissed by the “dancing sun” every day. The silent miracle of the sun “dancing” over Medjugorje began in the first year of the apparitions and has continued throughout these 28 years.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” John 15:1-5
“The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his cherished plant.” Isaiah 5:7
November 15, 1984
It is beautiful that Our Lady once spoke about the grapes in a message while they were being picked by the villagers. She revealed that God was testing the villagers through a long rain that took place in the middle of the reaping season which caused a great deal of damage to the crops. Our Lady said:
October 11, 1984
It’s a good lesson to reflect upon as you look at the pictures of the families harvesting a beautiful crop of grapes this year. The times of testing that God puts us through are difficult to endure sometimes, but they eventually pass, and they serve to make us stronger when we do as Our Lady tells us to, “…just always offer up all your burdens to God and do not be anxious…” Good advice for the times we are living through today.