The Cardinal Virtues of Purgatory

Starting now on our 5th reading of Purgatory on this website – we’re seeing the opening of the second book with even more clarity than last time. The bigger and more hidden background of the Paradiso is clearly felt, but the Journey starts more carefully with some smaller and practical steps. Here are the four Cardinal Virtues of Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance and Justice being introduced:

The rays of light from those four sacred stars
struck with such radiance upon his face,
it was as if the sun were shining there.

when Cato, the Guardian of the Mountain appears to the Pilgrim and Virgil. Continue reading “The Cardinal Virtues of Purgatory”

The Four Stars at Purgatory Mountain

As the Pilgrim and Virgil come out from the rocks and onto the shores on the Island of Mount Purgatory, they see four bright stars in the night sky above them – symbolic of the four Cardinal Virtues:

  • Temperance
  • Prudence
  • Fortitude
  • Being Just

From Canto I:

Then to my right I turned to contemplate
the other pole, and there saw those four stars
the first man saw, and no man after him

The Garden of Eden is on top of Mount Purgatory and therefore these four Virtues/Stars are again visible for Virgil and the Pilgrim, as they have now emerged in the Southern Hemisphere.