Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION CXXXVI.: OF PATIENCE. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
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QUESTION CXXXVI.: OF PATIENCE. - 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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Article I.—Is patience a virtue?
R. The moral virtues preserve the good of reason against the assaults of passion. Now among other passions sadness operates powerfully in hindering the good of reason, according to the texts: “The sorrow of the world worketh death;”2 and “Sadness hath killed many, and there is no profit on it.”3 Hence it is necessary to have some virtue by which the good of reason may be preserved against sadness. This is the work of patience. Hence Augustine says: “It is by patience that we bear evils with equanimity, lest by loss of equanimity we abandon the goods whereby we arrive at better goods.” Hence clearly patience is a virtue.
Article II.—Is patience the chief of virtues?
R. Virtue is what makes its possessor good and his work good. Hence a virtue must be more eminent and preferable, the more powerfully and directly it sets a man in the way of good. Now the virtues which are themselves constituent of good put a man in the way of good more directly than those which are preventive of seduction from good. And as among those that are constituent of good one is preferred to another inasmuch as it sets a man in possession of greater good—thus faith, hope, and charity are preferred to prudence and justice,—so among those that are preventive of withdrawal from good, one is preferred to another in proportion to the strength of the perturbing agency which it counteracts. But the perils of death, with which fortitude is conversant, or the delights of touch with which temperance deals, are more potent perturbing agents to withdraw men from good than the whole line of adversities that make the subject-matter of patience. And therefore patience is not chief of virtues, but falls short, not only of the theological virtues, and of prudence and justice, which directly set a man up in good, but also of fortitude and temperance, which remove greater obstacles from the right path than are removed by patience.
§ 1. It belongs to fortitude to face, not any adversity whatever, but that which is most difficult to face, namely, danger of death. But the endurance of any evils whatsoever may belong to patience.
§ 2. Fortitude is particularly about fears: fears lead to flight, and that is just what fortitude avoids. But patience is rather about annoyances, griefs, and sadnesses: for a man is called patient, not because he does not fly, but because he behaves himself commendably in suffering present hurts without inordinate sadness. And therefore fortitude is properly in the irascible faculty, but patience in the concupiscible. Nor does this hinder patience from being a part of fortitude: because the annexation of virtue to virtue is not arranged according to the subject faculty wherein the virtue resides, but according to its matter and form. Patience is particularly about the griefs and annoyances that are caused us by others.
[2 ]2 Cor. vii. 12.
[3 ]Ecclus. xxx. 25.