Prayers to Vesta

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Cicero De Domo sua ad Pontifices 144-5

Mother Vesta, I pray to You, whose most chaste Vestales I have defended against pillage and desecration by demented men; for their eternal flame I could not allow to pass, extinguished in the blood of citizens, or Your pure flame be intermingled with a conflagration sweeping the entire city.

I call You as witness, I place myself and my family in Your hands, in these struggles I devoted myself and my life, while consul and before, without regard for my own interests, or for profit, but strove in all my actions and thoughts with vigilance for the safety and health of all my fellow citizens, then, that someday I might bid to enjoy seeing the Republic restored at last. But if my counsel had not benefited my country, then in perpetual misery would I suffer, departed from my family, friends and all sustenance. When by Your favor my home is restored to me, may I at long last be allowed to consider it demonstrated that this devotion of my life has met with the approval of the Gods.

Ovid Fast 3.426-28

Vesta, watch over him whose hand tends the Holy Fire. Live well, fires. O live, I pray, undying flames.

Ovid Fasti 4.827-32

Then king Romulus said, "As I found this city, be present, Jupiter, Father Mars, and Mother Vesta, and all gods who it is pious to summon, join together to attend. Grant that my work may rise with Your auspices. Grant that it may for many years hold dominion on earth, and assert its power over the east and west.

Ovid Fasti 6.249-50

Vesta favor me. To You now our voices lift in praise as by this rite it is allowed that we may approach You.

Valerius Maximus 8.1.5 (absol.)

(Vestal Virgin Tuccia prayed for proof of her innocence:) O Vesta, if I have always brought pure hands to your secret services, make it so now that with this sieve I shall be able to draw water from the Tiber and bring it to Your temple.

Vellius Paterculus II 131.1

Jupiter Capitolinus, Mars Gradivus called progenitor and aide of the Romans, Vesta, perpetual guardian of fire, and whatever divine powers in this greatness of Roman sovereignty, the largest empire on earth, exulted to the highest dignity, to You the public voice calls to witness and to pray: guard, preserve, and protect this state, this peace, this prince, and those who succeed to the Senate, by their long standing, determined worthy to consider the most grave matters among mortals.

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