After a series of unfavorable prodigies, that signified a breakdown in their relations with the Gods, the Roman Senate consulted the Sibylline Books. Three Vestal Virgins with their male partners had broken their vows. Although all of the people involved were put to death, the Gods were still upset by what had happened. What the Vestals did was nefas (contrary to divine law), and the Pax Deorum (Peace of the Gods) had to be restored. The Sibylline Books said to do this was to erect a statue of Venus Verticordia (the Changer of Hearts) in the temple of Fortuna Virilus (Bold Fortune). There She would be attended by modest young women, who were supervised by long married matrons. This statue to Venus Verticordia was dedicated on April 1, 114 BCE.

During the Veneralia, women would wash and dress the statues of Venus Verticordia and Fortuna Virilus. Then wearing myrtle wreaths, they would march into the men’s baths. There they prayed that their physical imperfections would be hidden from view.

At the Veneralia, people would ask both Goddesses for help in their love lives. Married people prayed for deepening while the unmarried requested someone to love. As Ovid said of Venus Verticordia, “beauty and fortune and good fame are in Her Keeping.”

Salve Venus Verticordia!
Changer of Hearts
Salve Fortuna Virilus!
Fortune, Who favors the bold
Help us deepen our love
Grant us the courage to ask another

Goddesses who know the human heart
Guide us in our love affairs
Salve Venus Verticordia!
Salve Fortuna Virilus!

5 thoughts on “Gods of the Month: VENUS VERTICORDIA and FORTUNA VIRILUS

    • Thanks. Notice that the Roman Gods didn’t smite or smote anyone. They just let people know they were unhappy. A part of Polytheism is luck as in maintaining it from your Ancestors if it is good or changing it if it is bad. The Gods who were unhappy would simply leave the Romans to themselves and be unlucky. No one wants that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is exactly what is happening today. “maintaining it from your Ancestors if it is good or changing it if it is bad”. How observant of you.


  1. Pingback: Gods of the Month: April | Neptune's Dolphins

  2. Pingback: Roman Gods for April | Neptune's Dolphins

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