The Blessing of the Fruit is an artistic and religious act that, lately, has been carried out in the Prado Gaucho, in the east coast on the Fountain of the Continents at General San Martin Park. Liturgical for its characteristics and religious in its essence, is an act of appreciation to God for the fruits received, with the participation of the Virgin of Carrodilla, image that came to Cuyo in 1911, bringing in her hands some grapes and closely linked to the history of the harvest.
By the decree No 54 the government of Cano, on February 9, 1938, declared the Celestial patron saint of Vineyards, under a title of La Carrodilla. The origin of the Blessing was established in Mendoza as a custom of peasants who dedicated their offering of fruit to any image near the end of the year’s work.
The first time the celebration was performed, a huge container filled with fruit was blessed. Both the place and time have been modified on several occasions. In 1939, it was added one of the constituent parts of the act, in tribute to the vintage. It consisted of a rustic frame, made with wood from a plough, which maintains a grate. The humble tool symbolized the men who eke out the earth, the backbone of the celebration.
The governor of the province is responsible for giving blows to the grate, recalling how people used to be called to rest in the fields, at noon and at sunset. With blows to the grate, every year people are called to rest, to celebrate and to taste new wines.
The annual religious ceremony was officiated by the Archbishop of Mendoza and was attended by the Governor of the Province and other provincial and municipal authorities; the Queen of the Harvest, the departmental queens, a lot of locals and tourists.
Originally, the act was carried out in the forecourt of the Carrodilla Church, but due to the massive turnout of audience, it had to be moved. Currently it takes place in the Prado Gaucho at General San Martin Park.
Virgen de La Carrodilla
The countrymen from Mendoza are deeply religious; they have always looked up to their faith to receive encouragement in their despair, to alleviate their pain, to dry their tears, to fill their desires and to meet their aspirations. The farmer who knows the suffered life in the groove, enhances his appeal for a good harvest in the image of the Virgin of Carrodilla.
The image of the Virgin was brought to Mendoza by Don Antonio Solanilla, who placed it in a beautiful grotto built in his house, where neighbours and relatives would go to pray for a good harvest. Subsequently, a church was built where today houses in the Parish of Carrodilla, located on San Martin Avenue of Luján de Cuyo, and which receives the love and prayers of our harvesters.
During the central acts, those men who raise a plea of silent devotion, love and hope carry the image of the Virgin. The traditionalist centres of Maipú, Junín, La Consulta, Chañar, Colonel Dorrego and the Delegación Sur are responsible for escorting the Virgin.