A virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It
allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the
best of him. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all
his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses
it in concrete actions.
Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, and habitual
perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order
our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith.
They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally
good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good.
The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit
and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the
human being for communion with divine love.
In Catholic teachings there are two kinds of virtues, the Cardinal
virtues and the Theological virtues.
The Cardinal Virtues
are Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance, and Justice.
Prudence disposes the practical reason
to discern, in every circumstance, our true good and to choose the
right means for achieving it. It guides the other virtues by setting
rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment
of conscience. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles
to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the
good to achieve and the evil to avoid.
Justice consists in the firm and constant
will to give God and neighbor their due. Justice toward God is called
the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes
one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships
the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the
Fortitude ensures firmness in difficulties
and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve
to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life.
The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of
death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even
to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause.
Temperance moderates the attraction of
the pleasures of the senses and provides balance in the use of created
goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires
within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs
the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy
The moral or Cardinal virtues grow through education, deliberate
acts, and perseverance in struggle. Divine grace purifies and elevates
Aside from the Cardinal Virtues, there are also Theological Virtues.
The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity;
they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and
give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into
the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his
children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the
presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human
being. There are three theological virtues: faith,
hope, and charity.
we believe in God and believe all that he has revealed to us and
that Holy Church proposes for our belief.
By hope we
desire, and with steadfast trust await from God, eternal life and
the graces to merit it.
we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for love
of God. Charity, the form of all the virtues, "binds everything
together in perfect harmony"
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon Christians are
wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and
fear of the Lord.
OF THE SAINTS
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria.
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin."
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve.
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died.
ST. MARIA GORETTI
St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY
These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I.
BLESSED EUGENE III
Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter.
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.
St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century.
St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds.
ST. JOHN GAULBERT
St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered.
ST. HENRY II.
St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him.
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief.
St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg.
ST. LEO IV.
St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.
St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts.
St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.
St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra, Lebanon.
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.
St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy.
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.
St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord.
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.
St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus.
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB
St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the tenth century.
ST. JAMES THE GREATER
St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother John.
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE
St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.
St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus.
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?