Index to Virtues and Vices

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Triumph of Virtue - by CORREGGIO - from Musée du Louvre, Paris

The Young Woman at the center wears the Armour of Christ. The Angel behind her Crowns her with a Victory Wreath of Laurel. In the same Angel's left hand is a Palm Branch, Symbolic of Virginity. At the Virgin's feet are the Demons she has defeated, and in her right hand is a broken lance, indicating she has fought hard and well. She has been 'weighed and measured' by the other two Virgins dressed in white, and not 'found wanting'. There is joy in Heaven over her Victory.

The single Tree behind the Virgin which grows straight and tall toward Heaven is Symbolic of the Cross of Jesus Christ. In a companion-painting by Correggio entitled 'Allegory of Vices' , also displayed at Musée du Louvre, we see the background-tree to be Gnarled, Twisted and Broken. Click to display 'Allegory of Vices'.


sheen.gif (6584 bytes) "The great Greek Historian, Lecky, said that the surest sign of Utter Degradation is when Men speak of Virtues as if they were Vices, and of Vices as if they were Virtues. "They altered", he says, "the customary meaning of words in reference to actions. Men looked on Deeds of Infamy and were not shocked. The Sin of the World and its Moral Corruption infected the air. Men were Naked and not Ashamed, not because they were Innocent, but because no Sense of Guilt assailed them".

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


Virtues and Vices

by Father Joseph Rickaby, S.J.

The Virtues are: (1) 'Gifts' of the Holy Spirit(2) 'Divine'/'Infused' Virtues, (3) 'Acquired'/'Human' Virtues, and (4) the Habit of Synderesis. A Virtue is a Habit of doing Right; a Habit of doing Wrong is called a Vice. A Habit is a 'made' thing, 'made' by the Free Human Acts of the Individual. It results of Acts whereof he is Master, to do or not to do, and he 'Chooses' to do them. No one is born with Habits. A young child consequently has neither Vices nor Virtues. But it has Propensities both Virtuous and Vicious. These Propensities are partly common to all Men, partly peculiar to individuals, depending in the latter case on the Bodily Nature inherited from Parents and Ancestors according to what is called the Law of Heredity. Habits and Acts answer to one another; but a Person may do an Act, Good or Evil, without having yet Formed the corresponding Habit, be it of Virtue or Vice. Clearly, a Man may get drunk without being a Habitual Drunkard, or give an Alms before he has mastered the Virtue of Liberality. Otherwise no Virtue could ever be Acquired; for the Act must precede the Habit, and the Habit of Virtue, or of Vice, is the Gradual Result of a Series of Virtuous, or Vicious, Acts. But, done without Habit, an Act is done Fitfully, Irregularly, with Difficulty and Uncertainty, and much Imperfection.


Four Categories of Virtue

Seven (7)
Gifts of the Spirit

Seven (7)
Divine/Infused Virtues

Four (4) Main
Acquired/Human/Cardinal Virtues

Natural Law

Supernatural/ Divine Nature

Human Nature

Received at

Received at Baptism
along with Sanctifying Grace

Received at Conception and
developed throughout our Life

Received at
Conception (static)



No Counterpart
to the Three (3)
Theological Virtues

God writes His Name on the Soul of every Man at Conception. Synderesis is the Law of our Mind, because it is a Habit containing the Precepts of the Natural Law, which are the First Principles of Human Actions






Weakened/Damaged Prudence



Weakened/Damaged Fortitude



Weakened/Damaged Justice

Fear of the Lord


Weakened/Damaged Temperance

The Four (4) Main Acquired/Human Virtues are still severely weakened due to Original Sin, and require Divine Aid
Dominican Father Brian Mullady offers an excellent synopsis of Virtue in the EWTN Radio Audio Clip available below. The Outline of Father Mullady's Talk follows very closely the Table of Virtues provided above. They compliment each other if simultaneously viewed and heard. 


Links to pages on Virtues and Vices

On the Sin of Anger - by Saint Alphonsus

On the Vice of Impurity - by Saint Alphonsus

The Vice that is filling Hell to its limits

Vices of Envy and Jealousy - Enemies of Charity

True/False Self Love

The Vice of Spiritual Sloth

The Seven Deadly Sins

The Virtue of Charity

The Virtue of Chastity

The Virtue of Faith

The Virtue of Christian Fortitude

The Virtue of Hope

The Virtue of Humility

The Virtue of Justice

The Virtue of Meekness

The Virtue of Mercy

The Virtue of Patience

Patience of Job

The Virtue of Christian Prudence

The Virtue of Christian Temperance

The Virtues in Christ

Simplicity as a Virtue

Confidence as a Virtue

Patriotism as a Virtue

Virtue of Wisdom

The Infused Virtues - by Father J. Aumann, O.P.

The Infused Virtues - by Father P. Duffner, O.P.

The Holy Spirit leads us in Two (2) Ways

Infused Virtues - by Father Joseph Rickaby, S.J.

Acquired Virtues - by Father Joseph Rickaby, S.J.

Catechetical Teachings of Pope John Paul II 

The Nature of Virtue - by Father R. Martin, O.P.

Synderesis and Natural Law


Audio Clip on
the Habits and Virtue

by Dr. Theresa Farnan
Faculty, Mount Saint Mary's Seminary

Audio Clip on
the Virtues According to
Pope John Paul II

by Father Richard M. Hogan,
According to the Synthesis of
Pope John Paul II


Prayer to the Holy Spirit for His Gifts
by a Bishop Administering Confirmation

Almighty, Everlasting God,
Who has deigned to beget New Life in these thy servants by Water and the Holy Spirit,
and has granted them Remission of all their Sins,
send forth from Heaven upon them Thy Holy Spirit, with His Sevenfold Gifts:
The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding. Amen.
The Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude. Amen.
The Spirit of Knowledge and Piety. Amen.
Fill them with the Spirit of Fear of the Lord,
and Seal them with the Sign of Christ's Cross,
Plenteous in Mercy unto life everlasting.
Through the selfsame Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord,
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God eternally.



The Praises of the Virtues

by Saint Francis of Assisi

francis.jpg (256763 bytes) Hail, Queen Wisdom!  The Lord save you,
with your Sister, Pure, Holy Simplicity.
Lady Holy Poverty, God keep you,
with your sister, Holy Humility.
Lady Holy Love, God keep you,
with your sister, Holy Obedience.
All Holy Virtues,
God keep you, God from whom you proceed and come.
In all the world there is not a person
who can possess any one of you without first dying to themselves.
The person who practices one and does not offend against the others
possesses all;
The person who offends against one,
possesses none and violates all.
Each and every one of you
puts vice and sin to shame.
Holy Wisdom puts Satan
and all his wiles to shame.
Pure and Holy Simplicity puts
all the learning of this world, all Natural Wisdom, to shame.
Holy Poverty puts to shame
all Greed, Avarice, and all the Anxieties of this life.
Holy Humility puts Pride to shame,
and all the inhabitants of this world and all that is in the world.
Holy Love puts to shame all the Temptations
of the Devil and the flesh and all natural Fear.
Holy Obedience puts to shame
all natural and selfish desires.
It mortifies our Lower Nature
and makes it obey the Spirit and our fellow people.
Obedience subjects a person
to everyone on earth,
And not only to people,
but to all the beasts as well and to the wild animals,
So that they can do what they like with the person,
as far as God allows them.

Saint Francis of Assisi



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