Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.

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Becky Parker
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Posted: Oct 15 2005 at 3:52pm | IP Logged Quote Becky Parker

This is probably a rather odd question so I will try to give you some background first...
This year ds (11yo) is working on a religion notebook which has two sections: Saints and Virtues.
Under the Saints section, he does a write up about a saint we read about, adds a picture copied from the internet, adds a quote or two and finally, his favorite part, he colors that saint's coat of arms. He loves the symbolism and colors and the intricate coloring involved with the coats of arms. (THis from a child that has never enjoyed coloring or art at all up until now.) It also gives him something to do other than just write which he really doesn't like. I found the symbols for the saints in a book called _Saints, Signs and Symbols_ by W. Ellwood Post. This is really interesting to him, so much so that he even does it without my asking him to.    Unforunately, his enthusiasm isn't quite as high when it comes to completing pages about the virutes that we read about. So, my question is, does anyone know of a book or resource in which the virtues are given a symbol? Or, are there any ideas I can use to jazz this part up a bit? I realize I'm asking for a lot. I just think he needs some motivation.
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Posted: Oct 15 2005 at 5:26pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

First of all, I didn't find too many exact pictures or symbols to refer to, but I did find references to symbols for the virtues in a few books I have. I love studying symbols!

From Signs and Symbols in Christian Art by George Ferguson:
Virtues, Vices, and Liberal Arts.
Among the abstract personalities that are frequently represented in Renaissance art are those of the Seven Virtues, the Seven Vices, and the Liberal Arts. The Seven Virtues, all female, are usually as follows:
Faith is represented as a woman with a chalice or a cross, or both. At her feet is St. Peter.
Hope is a winged woman who raises her hands toward heaven. Her standard attribute is the anchor. St. James the Great is at her feet.
Charity usually has children around her and is nursing one of those. Sometimes she holds flames or a heart. St. John the Evangelist is seated at her feet.
Temperance holds a sword or two vases. At her feet is Scipio Africanus.
Prudence may have two heads, and she holds a mirror and a serpent. At her feet is Solon.
Fortitude may have a sword, club, a shield, a globe, and a lionskin, or a column, in allusion to Samson's destruction of the Philistine temple. At her feet is Samson.
Justice holds scales and a sword. The Emperor Trajan is at her feet.
The first three of these are called the Theological Virtues, while the last four are known as the Cardinal Virtues.
To the Seven Virtues are opposed the Seven Vices, as follows: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Their attributes are not clearly defined.
In Renaissance painting, the Seven Virtues are sometimes accompanied by the seven Liberal Arts: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy. Their attributes are not clearly defined.

The painting pictured of the Seven Virtues is by Francesco Pesellino and Studio: The Seven Virtues. Not very big.

Article on Temperance (S‘PHROSYN«) and the Canon of the Cardinal Virtues

From Church Symbolism by F. R. Webber. BTW, this is my favorite book for the information. There aren't great illustrations, but the amount of symbolism references it provides is the best:
The four: Justice, Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude.
The seven Christian: Humility, Liberality, Chastity, Meekness, Temperance, Brotherly Love, Diligence.
Virtues, the Twenty-four. (From the font of the Chapel of The Intercession, New York.)
Faithfulness (ivy); Righteousness (breastplate); Mercy (blunt sword); Chastity (unicorn); Diligence (plough); Faith (cross); Meekness (yoke); Fidelity (dog); Wisdom (serpent); Modesty (dove); Industry (beehive); Liberality (horn of plenty); Truth (hatchet and cherry tree); Patience (spider); Purity (lily); Hope (anchor);
Humility (lily of the valley); Good Report (laurel); Love (rose); Peacefulness (olive); Forgiveness (oak); Innocence (daisy); Loveliness (flowers); Charity (heart).
Symbols of the Church by Maurice Dilasser has a short write-up of symbols of some virtues, and includes a color picture of Lambertus "Liber Floridus," the Tree of Goodness bearing the medallions of the Virtues. Review of The Symbols of the Church.

I also have a few resources for Symbols on websites I would recommend...I don't think they have virtues info, but for future reference.

Symbols in Christian Art and Architecture.

Christian Symbols and Their Meanings.

Gallery of Christian Symbols.

Good list of Symbols.

Another List of Symbols sites.

Jennifer G. Miller
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Becky Parker
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Posted: Oct 16 2005 at 7:27am | IP Logged Quote Becky Parker

Wow! Thanks Jenn! This is a lot of information. I'll have fun going through it all!
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Posted: Oct 25 2005 at 8:25pm | IP Logged Quote Taffy


Don't know if you're still in need of anything but I ran into these frescos by Giotto of the Seven Virtues and the Seven Vices. They seem rather symbolic to me but I'll let you decide

Seven Virtues

Seven Vices

Mom to 5 on earth and 1 in heaven
Susan's Soliloquy
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Posted: Oct 26 2005 at 7:55pm | IP Logged Quote amiefriedl

What excellent finds!

What an excellent question!

In Christ the King through Mary our Mother,
Blessed with an awesome hubby and Mom of ds10, dd7, dd3 and dd 10months.
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