Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION CXXXIV.: OF MUNIFICENCE. 2 - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
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QUESTION CXXXIV.: OF MUNIFICENCE. 2 - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2) 
Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas. A Translation of the Principal Portions of the Second part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Burns and Oates, 1892).
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§ 3. Magnificence, or munificence, aims at doing a great work. But no end or aim of human works is so great as the honour of God, and therefore the great work of magnificence is shown especially in view of the honour of God. Hence the Philosopher says: “Those expenses are most honourable which relate to sacrifices to the Deity;” and about these the munificent man is most zealous. And therefore magnificence is joined with holiness,3 because its principal work is directed to religion or holiness.
Article III.—Are large expenses the matter of munificence?
R. Great works cannot be done without great expenses. Hence it belongs to munificence to go to great expense for the suitable doing of a great work. Now expense means parting with money, from which a man may be restrained by excessive love of money. And therefore as matter of munificence we may assign both the expenses themselves which the munificent man incurs for the doing of a great work, and the love of money which he curbs that these great expenses may not be stopped.
§ 2. The use of money appertains to liberality and to munificence in different ways. All due use of money in the way of gifts appertains to liberality. But to the munificent man it appertains to use money for some great work, that cannot be without expenditure and cost.
§ 3. The principal act of virtue is the interior choice, which the virtue can make without exterior fortune; and in that way even the poor man may be munificent. But to exterior acts of virtue the goods of fortune are requisite as instruments; and so far forth a poor man cannot exercise the exterior act of munificence in things that are great, absolutely speaking; but perhaps he may exercise it in things that are great in relation to some work, which though small in itself may yet be done magnificently in its way: for great and small are relative terms, as the Philosopher remarks.1
Article IV.—Is munificence a part of fortitude?
R. Munificence as a special virtue cannot be set down to be a subjective part of fortitude, because it does not agree with it in matter; but it is set down to be a part of it inasmuch as it is annexed to it as a secondary virtue to its primary. For such annexation two things are required: one, that the secondary virtue agree with the primary; the other, that in some respect it be transcended by it. Now munificence agrees with fortitude in this, that as fortitude tends to something arduous and difficult, so also does munificence: hence it seems, like fortitude, to be in the irascible faculty. But munificence falls short of fortitude in this, that the arduous goal to which fortitude tends has its difficulty in the danger which is threatened to the person; whereas the arduous goal of munificence has its difficulty in the expenditure of pecuniary means, a much less matter than danger to the person. Thus munificence is set down to be a part of fortitude.1
[2 ]St. Thomas says magnificence, but our word is munificence. (Trl.)
[3 ]Exodus xv. 11; Psalm xcv. 6.
[1 ]The munificent or magnificent man is the princely man. Magnificence means doing things on a handsoms scale. It is opposed to shabbiness, or petty economy, which St. Thomas calls parvificentia. (Trl.)
[1 ]A potential part, q. 128. (Trl.)