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employ both anger and the other passions of the soul,
modified according to the dictate of reason. On the other
hand, the Stoics gave the name of passions to certain immo-
derate emotions of the sensitive appetite, wherefore they
called them sicknesses or diseases, and for this reason
severed them altogether from virtue.

Accordingly the brave man employs moderate anger for
his action, but not immoderate anger.

Reply Ohj. i. Anger that is moderated in accordance with
reason is subject to the command of reason : so that man uses
it at his will, which would not be the case were it immo-

Reply Ohj. 2i. Reason employs anger for its action, not as
seeking its assistance, but because it uses the sensitive
appetite as an instrument, just as it uses the members of
the body Nor is it unbecoming for the instrument to be

211 FORTITUDE Q. 123. Art. 10

more imperfect than the principal agent, even as the hammer
is more imperfect than the smith. Moreover, Seneca was a
follower of the Stoics, and the above words were aimed by
him directly at Aristotle.

Reply Obj. 3. Whereas fortitude, as stated above (A. 6),
has two acts, namely endurance and aggression, it employs
anger, not for the act of endurance, because the reason by
itself performs this act, but for the act of aggression, for
which it employs anger rather than the other passions,
since it belongs to anger to strike at the cause of sorrow,
so that it directly co-operates with fortitude in attacking.
On the other hand, sorrow by its very nature gives way to
the thing that hurts ; though accidentally it helps in aggres-
sion, either as being the cause of anger, as stated above
(I. -II. , Q. XLVII. , A. 3), or as making a person expose himself
to danger in order to escape from sorrow. In like manner
desire, by its very nature, tends to a pleasurable good, to
which it is directly contrary to withstand danger: yet
accidentally sometimes it helps one to attack, in so far as
one prefers to risk dangers rather than lack pleasure. Hence
the Philosopher says {Ethic, iii. 5) : Of all the cases in which
fortitude arises from a passion, the most natural is when a
man is brave through anger, making his choice and acting for
a purpose, i.e. for a due end; this is true fortitude.

Eleventh Article,
whether fortitude is a cardinal virtue ?

We proceed thus to the Eleventh Article: —

Objection i. It seems that fortitude is not a cardinal
virtue. For, as stated above (A. 10) , anger is closely allied
with fortitude. Now anger is not accounted a principal
passion; nor is daring which belongs to fortitude. Therefore
neither should fortitude be reckoned a cardinal virtue.

Obj. 2. Further, The object of virtue is good. But the
direct object of fortitude is not good, but evil, for it is
endurance of evil and toil, as TuUy says {De Inv. Rhet. ii.).
Therefore fortitude is not a cardinal virtue.

Q. 123. Art. ii THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 212

Ohj. 3. Further, The cardinal virtues are about those
things upon which human life is chiefly occupied, just as a
door turns upon a hinge (car dine). But fortitude is about
dangers of death which are of rare occurrence in human
life. Therefore fortitude should not be reckoned a cardinal
or principal virtue.

On the contrary, Gregory [Moral, xxii.), Ambrose in his
commentary on Luke vi. 20, and Augustine [De Moribus
Eccl. XV.), number fortitude among the four cardinal or
principal virtues.

/ answer that, As stated above (I. -II., Q. LXL, AA. 3, 4),
those virtues are said to be cardinal or principal which have
a foremost claim to that which belongs to the virtues in
common. And among other conditions of virtue in general
one is that it is stated to act steadfastly, according to Ethic, ii. 4.
Now fortitude above all lays claim to praise for steadfast-
ness. Because he that stands firm is so much the more
praised, as he is more strongly impelled to fall or recede.
Now man is impelled to recede from that which is in accor-
dance with reason, both by the pleasing good and the dis-
pleasing evil. But bodily pain impels him more strongly
than pleasure. For Augustine says {QQ. LXXXIIL, qu. 36) :
There is none that does not shun pain more than he desires
pleasure. For we perceive that even the most untamed beasts
are deterred from the greatest pleasures by the fear of pain.
And among the pains of the mind and dangers those are
mostly feared which lead to death, and it is against them
that the brave man stands firm. Therefore fortitude is a
cardinal virtue.

Reply Obj. i. Daring and anger do not co-operate with
fortitude in its act of endurance, wherein its steadfastness
is chiefly commended: for it is by that act that the brave
man curbs fear, which is a principal passion, as stated above
(I.-II.,Q. XXV., A. 4).

Reply Obj. 2. Virtue is directed to the good of reason
which it behoves to safeguard against the onslaught of
evils. And fortitude is directed to evils of the body, as
contraries which it withstands, and to the good of reason,
as the end, which it intends to safeguard.

213 FORTITUDE Q. 123. Art. 12

Reply Ohj. 3. Though dangers of death are of rare occur-
rence, yet the occasions of those dangers occur frequently,
since on account of justice which he pursues, and also on
account of other good deeds, man encounters mortal adver-

Twelfth Article,
whether fortitude excels among all other


We proceed thus to the Twelfth Article: —

Objection i. It seems that fortitude excels among all other
virtues. For Ambrose says [De Offic. i) : Fortitude is higher,
so to speak, than the rest.

Obj. 2. Further, Virtue is about that which is difficult
and good. But fortitude is about most difficult things.
Therefore it is the greatest of the virtues.

Ohj. 3. Further, the person of a man is more excellent
than his possessions. But fortitude is about a man's
person, for it is this that a man exposes to the danger of
death for the good of virtue : whereas justice and the other
moral virtues are about other and external things. There-
fore fortitude is the chief of the moral virtues.

Ohj. 4. On the contrary, Tully says {De Offic. i.): Justice is
the most resplendent of the virtues and gives its name to a good

Ohj. 5. Further, the Philosopher says {Rhet. i. 19): Those
virtues must needs he greatest which are most profitable to
others. Now liberality seems to be more useful than forti-
tude. Therefore it is a greater virtue.

I answer that. As Augustine says [De Trin. vi.). In things
that are great, but not in hulk, to he great is to he good: wherefore
the better a virtue the greater it is. Now reason's good is
man's good, according to Dionysius {Div. Nom. iv.) Prudence,
since it is a perfection of reason, has the good essentially:
while justice effects this good, since it belongs to justice
to establish the order of reason in all human affairs : whereas
the other virtues safeguard this good, inasmuch as they
moderate the passions, lest they lead man away from

Q. 123. Art. 12 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA '* 214

reason's good. As to the order of the latter, fortitude
holds the first place, because fear of dangers of death has the
greatest power to make man recede from the good of reason :
and after fortitude comes temperance, since also pleasures
of touch excel all others in hindering the good of reason.
Now to be a thing essentially ranks before effecting it, and
the latter ranks before safeguarding it by removing obstacles
thereto. Wherefore among the cardinal virtues, prudence
ranks first, justice second, fortitude third, temperance
fourth, and after these the other virtues.

Reply Ohj. i. Ambrose places fortitude before the other
virtues, in respect of a certain general utility, inasmuch
as it is useful both in warfare, and in matters relating to
civil or home life. Hence he begins by saying (ibid.):
Now we come to treat of fortitude, which being higher so to
speak than the others, is applicable both to warlike and to civil

Reply Obj. 2. Virtue essentially regards the good rather
than the difficult. Hence the greatness of a virtue is
measured according to its goodness rather than its difficulty.

Reply Obj. 3. A man does not expose his person to dangers
of death except in order to safeguard justice: wherefore
the praise awarded to fortitude depends somewhat on
justice. Hence Ambrose says [De Offic. i.) that fortitude
without justice is an occasion of injustice ; since the stronger
a man is the more ready is he to oppress the weaker.

The Fourth argument is granted.

Reply Obj. 5. Liberality is useful in conferring certain
particular favours : whereas a certain general utility attaches
to fortitude, since it safeguards the whole order of justice.
Hence the Philosopher says [Rhet. i. 9) that just and brave
men are most beloved, because they are most useful in war and



[In Five Articles).

We must now consider martyrdom, under which head there
are five points of inquiry: (i) Whether martyrdom is an act
of virtue ? (2) Of what virtue is it the act ? (3) Concerning
the perfection of this act: (4) The pain of martyrdom:
(5) Its cause.

First Article,
whether martyrdom is an act of virtue ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that martyrdom is not an act of
virtue. For all acts of virtue are voluntary. But martyr-
dom is sometimes not voluntary, as in the case of the
Innocents who were slain for Christ's sake, and of whom
Hilary says {Super Matth. i.) that they attained the ripe age
of eternity through the glory of martyrdom. Therefore
martyrdom is not an act of virtue.

Ohj. 2. Further, Nothing unlawful is an act of virtue.
Now it is unlawful to kill oneself, as stated above (Q. LXIV.,
A. 5), and yet martyrdom is achieved by so doing: for
Augustine says [De Civ. Dei i.) that during persecution
certain holy women, in order to escape from those who threatened
their chastity, threw themselves into a river, and so ended their
lives, and their martyrdom is honoured in the Catholic Church
with most solemn veneration. Therefore martyrdom is not
an act of virtue.

Ohj. 3. Further, It is praiseworthy to offer oneself to do
an act of virtue. But it is not praiseworthy to court


Q. 124. Art. i THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 216

martyrdom, rather would it seem to be presumptuous and
rash. Therefore martyrdom is not an act of virtue.

On the contrary, The reward of beatitude is not due save
to acts of virtue. Now it is due to martyrdom, since it
is written (Matth. v. 10) : Blessed are they that suffer persecu-
tion for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore martyrdom is an act of virtue.

/ answer that, As stated above (Q. CXXIII., AA. i, 3),
it belongs to virtue to safeguard man in the good of reason.
Now the good of reason consists in the truth as its proper
object, and in justice as its proper effect, as shown above
(Q. CIX., AA. I, 2; Q. CXXIII., A. 12). And martyrdom
consists essentially in standing firmly to truth and justice
against the assaults of persecution. Hence it is evident
that martyrdom is an act of virtue.

Reply Ohj. i. Some have said that in the case of the
Innocents the use of their free will was miraculously ac-
celerated, so that they suffered martyrdom even voluntarily.
Since, however, Scripture contains no proof of this, it is
better to say that these babes in being slain obtained by
God's grace the glory of martyrdom which others acquire
by their own will. For the shedding of one's blood for
Christ's sake takes the place of Baptism. Wherefore just
as in the case of baptized children the merit of Christ is
conducive to the acquisition of glory through the baptismal
grace, so in those who were slain for Christ's sake the merit
of Christ's martyrdom is conducive to the acquisition of
the martyr's palm. Hence Augustine says in a sermon
on the Epiphany [De Diver sis Ixvi.), as though he were
addressing them: A man that does not believe that children
are benefited by the baptism of Christ will doubt of your being
crowned in suffering for Christ. You were not old enough
to believe in Christ's future sufferings, but you had a body
wherein you could endure suffering for Christ Who was to suffer.

Reply Obj. 2. Augustine says {loc. cit.) that possibly the
Church was induced by certain credible witnesses of Divine
authority thus to honour the memory of those holy women."^

* Of. Q. LXIV., A. i,ad2.

217 MARTYRDOM Q. 124. Art. 2

Reply Ohj. 3. The precepts of the Law are about acts of
virtue. Now it has been stated above (Q. CVIIL , A. i, ad 4)
that some of the precepts of the Divine Law are to be
understood in reference to the preparation of the mind, in
the sense that man ought to be prepared to do such and
such a thing, whenever expedient. In the same way
certain things belong to an act of virtue as regards the
preparation of the mind, so that in such and such a case a
man should act according to reason. And this observation
would seem very much to the point in the case of martyrdom,
which consists in the right endurance of sufferings unjustly
inflicted. Nor ought a man to give another an occasion of
acting unjustly: yet if anyone act unjustly, one ought to
endure it in moderation.

Second Article,
whether martyrdom is an act of fortitude ?

We proceed thus to the Second Article : —

Objection i. It seems that martyrdom is not an act of
fortitude. For the Greek fidprvp signifies a witness. Now
witness is borne to the faith of Christ, according to Acts i. 8,
You shall be witnesses unto Me, etc., and Maximus says in a
sermon: The mother of martyrs is the Catholic faith which
those glorious warriors have sealed with their blood. Therefore
martyrdom is an act of faith rather than of fortitude.

Obj. 2. Further, A praiseworthy act belongs chiefly to the
virtue which inclines thereto, is manifested thereby, and
without which the act avails nothing. Now charity is the
chief incentive to martyrdom: Thus Maximus says in a
sermon: The charity of Christ is victorious in His martyrs.
Again the greatest proof of charity lies in the act of martyr-
dom, according to John xv. 13, Greater love than this no man
hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Moreover
without charity martyrdom avails nothing, according to
I Cor. xiii. ^, If I should deliver my body to be burned, and
have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Therefore martyr-
dom is an act of charity rather than of fortitude.

Q 124. Art. 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 218

Ohj. 3. Further, Augustine says in a sermon on S. Cyprian :
It is easy to honour a martyr hy singing his praises, hut it is a
great thing to imitate his faith and patience. Now that which
calls chiefly for praise in a virtuous act, is the virtue of which
it is the act. Therefore martyrdom is an act of patience
rather than of fortitude.

On the contrary, Cyprian says {Ep. ad Mart, et Conf. ii.):
Blessed martyrs, with what praise shall I extol you ? Most
valiant warriors, how shall I find words to proclaim the strength
of your courage ? Now a person is praised on account of
the virtue whose act he performs. Therefore martyrdom
is an act of fortitude.

I answer that, As stated above (Q. CXXIIL, A. i, seq.),
it belongs to fortitude to strengthen man in the good of
virtue, especially against dangers, and chiefly against dangers
of death, and most of all against those that occur in battle.
Now it is evident that in martyrdom man is firmly strength-
ened in the good of virtue, since he cleaves to faith and justice
notwithstanding the threatening danger of death, the
imminence of which is moreover due to a kind of particular
contest with his persecutors. Hence Cyprian says in a
sermon {loc. cit.): The crowd of onlookers wondered to see an
unearthly battle, and Christ's servants fighting erect, undaunted
in speech, with souls unmoved, and strength divine. Wherefore
it is evident that martyrdom is an act of fortitude ; for which
reason the Church reads in the office of Martyrs : They
became valiant in battle. *

Reply Obj. i. Two things must be considered in the act of
fortitude. One is the good wherein the brave man is
strengthened, and this is the end of fortitude ; the other is
the firmness itself, whereby a man does not yield to the
contraries that hinder him from achieving that good, and in
this consists the essence of fortitude. Now just as civic
fortitude strengthens a man's mind in human justice, for
the safeguarding of which he braves the danger of death,
so gratuitous fortitude strengthens man's soul in the good

* Heb. xi. 34.

219 MARTYRDOM Q. 124. Art. 3

of Divine justice, which is through faith in Christ Jesus,
according to Rom. iii. 22. Thus martyrdom is related to
faith as the end in which one is strengthened, but to fortitude
as the ehciting habit.

Reply Ohj. 2. Charity incHnes one to the act of martyrdom,
as its first and chief motive cause, being the virtue com-
manding it, whereas fortitude incHnes thereto as being
its proper motive cause, being the virtue that eHcits it.
Hence martyrdom is an act of charity as commanding, and
of fortitude as ehciting. For this reason also it manifests
both virtues. It is due to charity that it is meritorious,
like any other act of virtue: and for this reason it avails
not without charity. '

Reply Ohj. 3. As stated above (Q. CXXIII. , A. 6), the chief
act of fortitude is endurance : to this and not to its secondary
act, which is aggression, martyrdom belongs. And since
patience serves fortitude on the part of its chief act, viz.
endurance, hence it is that martyrs are also praised for their

Third Article.

whether martyrdom is an act of the greatest

perfection ?

We proceed thus to the Third Article : —

Objection i. It seems that martyrdom is not an act of the
greatest perfection. For seemingly that which is a matter
of counsel and not of precept pertains to perfection, because,
to wit, it is not necessary for salvation. But it would seem
that martyrdom is necessary for salvation, since the Apostle
says (Rom. x. 10), With the heart we believe unto justice, but
with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, and it is
written (i John iii. 16), that we ought to lay down our lives
for the brethren. Therefore martyrdom does not pertain to

Obj. 2. Further, It seems to point to greater perfection
that a man give his soul to God, which is done by obedience,
than that he give God his body, which is done by martyrdom:
wherefore Gregory says {Moral, xxxv.) that obedience is

Q. 124. Art. 3 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 220

preferable to all sacrifices. Therefore martyrdom is not
an act of the greatest perfection.

Ohj. 3. Further, It would seem better to do good to others
than to maintain oneself in good, since the good of the nation
is better than the good of the individual, according to the
Philosopher {Ethic, i. 2). Now he that suffers martyrdom
profits himself alone, whereas he that teaches does good to
many. Therefore the act of teaching and guiding subjects
is more perfect than the act of martyrdom.

On the contrary, Augustine [DeSanct. Virgin, xlvi.) prefers
martyrdom to virginity which pertains to perfection.
Therefore martyrdom seems to belong to perfection in the
highest degree.

/ answer that, We may speak of an act of virtue in two
ways. First, with regard to the species of that act, as
compared to the virtue proximately eliciting it. In this
way martyrdom, which consists in the due endurance of
death, cannot be the most perfect of virtuous acts, because
endurance of death is not praiseworthy in itself, but only in so
far as it is directed to some good consisting in an act of
virtue, such as faith or the love of God, so that this act of
virtue being the end is better.

A virtuous act may be considered in another way, in
comparison with its first motive cause, which is the love
of charity, and it is in this respect that an act comes to
belong to the perfection of life, since, as the Apostle says
(Col. iii. 14), that charity . . . is the bond of perfection. Now,
of all virtuous acts martyrdom is the greatest proof of the
perfection of charity: since a man's love for a thing is
proved to be so much the greater, according as that which
he despises for its sake is more dear to him, or that which he
chooses to suffer for its sake is more odious. But it is evident
that of all the goods of the present life man loves life itself
most, and on the other hand he hates death more than any-
thing, especially when it is accompanied by the pains of
bodily torment, from fear of which even dumb animals
refrain from the greatest pleasures, as Augustine observes
(QQ. LXXXIII., qu. 36). And from this point of view it is

221 MARTYRDOM Q. 124. Art. 3

clear that martyrdom is the most perfect of human acts
in respect of its genus, as being the sign of the greatest
charity, according to John. xv. 13: Greater love than this
no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Reply Ohj. i. There is no act of perfection, which is a
matter of counsel, but what in certain cases is a matter of
precept, as being necessary for salvation. Thus Augustine
declares [De Adult. Conjug. xiii.) that a man is under the
obligation of observing continency, through the absence
or sickness of his wife. Hence it is not contrary to the
perfection of martyrdom if in certain cases it be necessary
for salvation, since there are cases when it is not necessary
for salvation to suffer martyrdom; thus we read of many
holy martyrs who through zeal for the faith or brotherly
love gave themselves up to martyrdom of their own accord.
As to these precepts, they are to be understood as referring
to the preparation of the mind.

Reply Ohj. 2. Martyrdom embraces the highest possible
degree of obedience, namely obedience unto death; thus we
read of Christ (Phil. ii. 8) that He became obedient unto
death. Hence it is evident that martyrdom is of itself
more perfect than obedience considered absolutely.

Reply Ohj. 3. This argument considers martyrdom accord-
ing to the proper species of its act, whence it derives no
excellence over all other virtuous acts; thus neither is
fortitude more excellent than all virtues.

Fourth Article,
whether death is essential to martyrdom ?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article : —

Objection i. It seems that death is not essential to martyr-
dom. For Jerome says in a sermon on the Assumption
(Epist. ad Paul, et Eustoch.) : / should say rightly that the
Mother of God was both virgin and martyr, although she ended
her days in peace: and Gregory says [Hom. iii. in Ev.):
Although persecution has ceased to offer the opportunity, yet
the peace we enjoy is not without its martyrdom, since even

Q. 124. Art. 4 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 222

if we no longer yield the life of the body to the sword, yet do we
slay fleshly desires in the soul with the sword of the spirit
Therefore there can be martyrdom without suffering death.

Ohj. 2. Further, We read of certain women as commended
for despising hfe for the sake of safeguarding the integrity
of the flesh: wherefore seemingly the integrity of chastity
is preferable to the life of the body. Now sometimes the
integrity of the flesh has been forfeited or has been threatened
in confession of the Christian faith, as in the case of Agnes
and Lucy. Therefore it seems that the name of martyr
should be accorded to a woman who forfeits the integrity
of the flesh for the sake of Christ's faith, rather than if she
were to forfeit even the life of the body: wherefore also
Lucy said : // thou causest me to he violated against my will,
my chastity will gain me a twofold crown.

Ohj. 3. Further, Martyrdom is an act of fortitude. But
it belongs to fortitude to brave not only death but also other
hardships, as Augustine declares {Music, vi.). Now there are
many other hardships besides death, which one may suffer
for Christ's faith, namely imprisonment, exile, being stripped
of one's goods, as mentioned in Heb. x. 34, for which reason
we celebrate the martyrdom of Pope Saint Marcellus,
notwithstanding that he died in prison. Therefore it is
not essential to martyrdom that one suffer the pain of death.

Ohj. 4. Further, Martyrdom is a meritorious act, as stated
above (A. 2, ad 1; A. 3). Now it cannot be a meritorious
act after death. Therefore it is before death; and con-
sequently death is not essential to martyrdom.

On the contrary, Maximus says in a sermon on the martyrs
that in dying for the faith he conquers who would have heen
vanquished in living without faith.

I answer that, As stated above (A. 2), a martyr is so called

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