Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Acquired Virtues

Spirits Grace

Ever hear of Peace, Wisdom, or Patience spoken of as virtues? These and many others like them are classified as acquired virtues, because they are learned and acquired over one’s lifetime. Each acquired virtue falls under the umbrella of one or more of the theological and cardinal virtues. Therefore, each acquired virtue has a primary association with one of the seven virtues, and may have associations with one or more of the seven virtues.

Below is a list of the more popular acquired virtues, annexed to each one’s appropriate primary theological or cardinal virtue. This list is a highlight list. Remember that any good intention resulting in a good action is virtuous. Therefore, not every acquired virtue is noted on this list. Take note when looking at the list that Prudence does not have any acquired virtues associated with it, yet this virtue impacts every other virtue. This is because, without prudence, no action would be virtuous. “All the moral virtues require Prudence because this virtue alone guarantees the actual production of virtuous behavior, not simply the knowledge of what to do…the prudent person cannot voluntarily act imprudently.” 1

FAITH – Counsel, Diligence, Discernment, Faithfulness, Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom, Zeal

HOPE – Confidence, Contentment

CHARITY – Compassion, Forgiveness, Gentleness, Joy, Kindness, Love, Mercy, Peace, Respect

TEMPERANCE – Chastity, Humility, Meekness, Modesty, Purity, Self-Control

FORTITUDE – Magnanimity, Munificence, Patience, Perseverance

JUSTICE – Acceptance, Friendliness, Gratitude, Obedience, Piety, Truth

PRUDENCE – All virtues, including the theological and cardinal virtues

We’ll begin our acquired virtues discussion with those acquired virtues annexed to the theological virtue of Faith. First up to bat will be the gift and virtue of Counsel. What is Counsel? How does one seek counsel? We’ll discuss the answer to those questions beginning with our next reflection on the virtue and gift of Counsel.


1 Cessario, Romanus. “The Moral Virtues and Theological Ethics.” p 84. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. 2009, Print.


Leave a Reply