Coins of Cardinal Virtues Part 3: FORTITUDE

A virtue is a habitual disposition to do good. Among all the virtues, there are four that play a pivotal role and accordingly are called cardinal.

This article series highlights the coins from Vatican City that depicts the Four Cardinal Virtues. I've previously shown two cardinal virtues:

  • Coins of Cardinal Virtues Part 2: JUSTICE

    Justice, which consists in the firm and constant will to give others their due.

  • Coins of Cardinal Virtues Part 1: PRUDENCE.

    Prudence, which disposes the practical reason to discern in every circumstance one's true good and to choose the right means of achieving it.

  • Today, we will look at a third Vatican City coin that depicts the cardinal virtue FORTITUDE, a virtue which ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.


    1953 Vatican CIty 2 Lire - Pivs XII

    A standard circulation coin minted from 1951-1958.

    Lira was the currency in Italy from 1929 to 2001.

    Depicted on the reverse of the coin is Fortitude with a lion at feet.

    Papal coat-of-arms upon crossed keys joined by cord and tassels, surmounted by Papal Tiara (Triregnum).

    Source: Numista

    The virtues are traditionally depicted as young women in long robes, sometimes with wings. One reason they are women maybe that in Latin and Greek the virtues are feminine nouns (as are most abstract nouns). Therefore, we find Fortitude represented in two common ways: (1) a young woman holding a marble column, which is often broken; (2) a young woman holding a lion's jaws

    In Latin, fortitudo means both physical strength, vigor, and courage. It derives from fortis, which means strong, vigorous, healthy, robust, brave, bold and heroic.

    The lion itself is a symbol of courage and strength, but also of the danger of untamed nature. In classical times, demigods (such as Hercules) were often depicted defeating lions, a symbol of the triumph of human nature over animal nature. Therefore, Lady Fortitude we see personified human strength and courage taming animal strength and courage. Source

    St Thomas writes:

    Fortitude strengthens a man's mind against the greatest danger, which is that of death. Now fortitude is a virtue; it is essential to virtue to tend to good; wherefore it is in order to pursue some good that man does not fly from the danger of death. But the dangers of death arising out of sickness, storms at sea, attacks from robbers, and the like, do not seem to come on a man through his pursuing some good. On the other hand, the dangers of death which occur in battle come to man directly on account of some good, because, to wit, he is defending the common good by a just fight. (ST. II-II.123, a. 5)

    This is the third installment of four articles that depict the Cardinal Virtues. I hope to see you again when I show you the last coin in this series.


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    I do like the idea behind this series and the coins comprising it!

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    The designs of the reverse of the Vatican coins are not only nice, by meaningful to me. I wish I had more of them!
    Have a wonderful day, my friend @ronaldoavelino, and take care 🥰🌺🤙

    A very good quote by St Thomas @silversaver888....Yes we all need fortitude, the strength and steadfastness to carry-on in tough times. Tough times will come to all in life.....A wonderful post my friend, have a very nice evening!!😍😍😀

    ... and sometimes boils down to having the fortitude to survive the next minute, or the next hour, or the day... because tomorrow is always a new day!
    Have a wonderful evening, my friend @silvertop, and take care 🥰🌺🤙

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    A very nice round and some interesting facts as well. Thank you for sharing sis! Have a lovely night!🤗😘🤗🌸

    It is an old coin, and Mom will be about the age of this coin if she was still here. One more to go, then I can show another set, LOL! Yeah, I picked up ones for the meaningful revere designs on the coins.
    Have a wonderful day, sweet sis @elizabetbit! I can't believe it is the middle of the week already. Sometimes I feel that there are not enough hours in a day! Take care 🥰🌺🤙 and lots of love and hugs 😘🤗

    You are absolutely right @silversaver888! There aren't enough hours in the day! The only problem with a 48 hour day, is that we would fill that up to and still have the same complaint, lol!

    I still miss my parents as well; I used to find myself picking up the phone to call my mom. My dad would have been 101 years old on April 10, 2020.

    Time is flying by whether we want it to or not. Just think.....only 2 more months and someone will say 'Christmas in July'! Take care my sweet sister and don't work too hard!🤗🤗💕🤗🤗🌸

    Oh my goodness.... in July, another year will be added to my age!!! How cool is that!!!🥰🌺🤙

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    Great examples bestie, very nice series.🤗🌹

    I love the Vatican coins. In time I shall show the coin set of the year when John Paul II was elected Pope. I like the reverses of that coin!
    Have a great evening, bestie, and take care 🥰🌺🤙