Heavenly, and Cardinal Virtues
this world of iniquity, they are a few gleams of hope in the
mire of our shameful indulgences. Various formulations of
Virtue have been proposed over the ages.
prudence, temperance, courage, justice
philosophers considered the foremost virtues to be prudence, temperance,
courage, and justice. Early Christian Church theologians adopted these
virtues and considered them to be equally important to all people, whether
they were Christian or not.
love, hope, faith
St. Paul defined the three
chief virtues as love, which was the essential nature of God, hope,
and faith. Christian Church authorities called them the three theological
virtues because they believed the virtues were not natural to man in
his fallen state, but were conferred at Baptism.
Seven Contrary Virtues:
humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, liberality, diligence
The Contrary Virtues were
derived from the Psychomachia ("Battle for the Soul"), an
epic poem written by Prudentius (c. 410). Practicing these virtues is
alledged to protect one against temptation toward the Seven Deadly Sins:
humility against pride, kindness against envy, abstinence
against gluttony, chastity against lust, patience against
anger, liberality against greed, and diligence
Seven Heavenly Virtues:
faith, hope, charity, fortitude, justice,
The Heavenly Virtues
combine the four Cardinal Virtues: prudence, temperance, fortitude --
or courage, and justice, with a variation of the theological virtues:
hope, and charity. I'm still researching the origins and popular usage
of this formulation.
The Seven Corporal Works
Continuing the numerological
mysticism of Seven, the Christian Church assembled a list of seven good
works that was included in medieval catechisms. They are: feed the hungry,
give drink to the thirsty, give shelter to strangers, clothe the naked,
visit the sick, minister to prisoners, and bury the dead.