Virtues Hierarchy

Is there a virtues hierarchy or order in which you should work on the virtues? I am assigning one per month through the end of the year.

Are there virtues which should come foundationally before love? Does anyone have any inforgraphics or resources?

Also any resources on the categories of virtues would be helpful!!

Namely for me so far: patience, humility, meekness, obedience, diligence, kindness, temperance, love of God, Love of Neighbor.

The 54-day Rosary Novena I use organizes them in this manner, hierarchically:

Infused supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit

Cardinal Virtues

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Fear of the Lord

Fruits of the Holy Spirit (corrected - I left one out the first time, and Chastity and Modesty are considered 2 of the Fruits, for a total of 12)

With respect to resources, Fr. John Hardon’s “Modern Catholic Dictionary” is a good basic reference on all the Holy Spirit gifts, virtues and fruits. It explains what each of them is, and any hierarchy that applies.

Fr. Heilman also has reflections on all of the above in his 54-day Rosary Novena reflections, which you can read without having to say the Rosary. He reprints a good bit of Father Hardon’s work in the reflections and adds some Saint quotes and Scripture. They are all on the Roman Catholic Man website for free, so you can read the reflections there, and don’t have to buy his little book, but his website is very jumbled up right now because it has crashed a few times, and the entries are not all in order (they are numbered but the pages are mixed up). If you’d like to try reading them anyway, they are here and you can use the numbered boxes 1-10 at the bottom of the page to look through the entries and find the ones corresponding to the particular topic you want. I think “Faith” Is numbered 2 and then it cranks through them all in the order I listed above.


Humility is a foundational virtue because of its relation to truth. Humility means to see ourselves as we really are. If we’re proud or despondent, it’s hard to cultivate virtues because when we’re proud we already think we’re all that, and when we’re despondent we don’t see the point of trying, but when we have humility we see clearly. Without it we are driving blind. This should be prayed for daily.

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In the Marian Chaplet of Ten Virtues we meditate on the evangelical virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
1. Most Pure (Mt 1:18, 20, 23; Lk 1:27,34)
2. Most Prudent (Lk 2:19, 51)
3. Most Humble (Lk 1:48)
4. Most Faithful (Lk 1:45; Jn 2:5)
5. Most Devout (Lk 1:46-7; Acts 1:14)
6. Most Obedient (Lk 1:38; 2:21-2, 27)
7. Most Poor (Lk 2:7)
8. Most Patient (Jn 19:25)
9. Most Merciful (Lk 1:39, 56)
10. Most Sorrowful (Lk 2:35)

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In City of God, Saint Augustine says that while there is a hierarchy of virtue, at least with regards to the Theological Virtues (Love, Faith, Hope) no virtue can take hold in the hearts, minds, and souls of man without interior peace first being present. The practice of the virtues are paramount to our faith life, but so too is the interior preparation of our souls so that we might be able to receive those virtues.

God Bless,
Br. Ben, CRM

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All the law of God hangs and depends on these two commandments, there can be nothing greater.


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