Cardinal Virtues – Fortitude

In Freemasonry, the cardinal virtue of Fortitude is defined as the noble and steady purpose of the mind whereby we are enabled to undergo any pain, peril or danger, when prudentially deemed expedient. The word is borrowed from Old French, from Latin fortitūdō (bravery, strength), from fortis (brave, strong). In the traditional sense, Fortitude embodies the quality of character which gives a person strength to withstand temptation and to bear their suffering in silence when all other remedies fail.

In artistic mediums, the Cardinal Virtues are typically depicted with symbolic items. In the case of Fortitude, the symbolism often includes: armor, club, with a lion, palm, tower, yoke, broken column.

The image above is taken from the ceiling of United Grand Lodge of England’s meeting room at Freemason’s Hall, while the image below is from a stained glass window also located within the Hall.

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