Book Access - "Lady Virtue" Ch. 2 of "Virtue Stands in the Middle" by Dr. Christopher Gustafson STD

Lady Virtue - Ch. 2

Dr. Christopher Gustafson, STD is a Catholic theologian in the United States. GPQ did an interview with him on his upcoming book, Virtue Stands in the Middle, which you can access here. He has graciously offered to share parts of his upcoming book on virtue. The work not only delves in Catholic tradition and teaching on virtue and vice, but offers access to many images of the symbolism and iconographic tradition of the Seven Lady Virtues. Below is access to chapter two. 

"In the exploration of the world of virtue, we must first be introduced to our guide – Lady Virtue. The first virtue to consider is virtue itself. This special virtue encompasses all the virtues. We have already met her in the story of Hercules. She leads us forward in the life pursuit of virtue. In art, Lady Virtue is depicted as a beautiful woman with wings and a spear. Moreover, she has the sun in her chest as well as a laurel wreath(s) in her hand. Her wings symbolize virtue’s ability to soar over the common vices (patterns of sin) in the world. The spear denotes virtue’s authority and ultimate victory over vice – but it is going to be a battle. The sun in her breast speaks to the presence of God, the source of all virtue, in those who pursue her. Finally, the laurel wreath is symbolic of the fact that the virtuous person will be “crowned in triumph” (Wisdom 4:2)."