Mater Matuta of Rome

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An ancient Italic Goddess, Mater Matuta is the Goddess of the Dawn. Often confused with the Greek Goddesses Ino or Leukothea, Mater Matuta had none of their attributes. As the Goddess of the First Light, She cares for the newborns. (Romans consider the dawn to be the luckiest time to be born.)

At the Matralia (June 11), single women and married women (in their first marriage) would meet at her temple. Bringing toasted cakes in earthenware, they would make offerings to this Goddess. After praying for their sisters’ children, the women would drive a slave from the temple.

The focus of the Matralia is to consider the importance of parenting children. At this time, the women reestablish their ties with their nieces and nephews. The women are directed by Mater Matuta to care for these children if their parents died. The ousting of the slave demonstrates their resolve not to have their sisters’ children be raised by strangers.

Salve Mater Matuta!
Goddess of the Dawn
You smile on the Newly Born
Goddess of First Light
You gather the children in your arms

Salve Mater Matuta!
Guide us with our nephews
Guide us with our nieces
Salve Mater Matuta!
Help us smile upon them
Help us gather them in our arms

Salve Mater Matuta!
Goddess of the Dawn
Goddess of First Light

One thought on “Mater Matuta of Rome

  1. Pingback: Roman Gods for June | Neptune's Dolphins

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