Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION CXXXVII.: OF PERSEVERANCE. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
Return to Title Page for Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
QUESTION CXXXVII.: OF PERSEVERANCE. - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Article I.—Is perseverance a virtue?
R. Virtue is in matter difficult and good; and therefore where there occurs a special style of difficulty or goodness, there is a special virtue. Now a work of virtue may have difficulty from the mere length of time it takes; and therefore long persistence in good, even to the complete accomplishment of the same, belongs to a special virtue. And therefore as temperance and fortitude are special virtues, so also is perseverance, to which it belongs in these or other virtues to endure long continuance according as is necessary.
§ 2. The name of perseverance is sometimes taken for the habit whereby one chooses to persevere, sometimes for the act whereby one does actually persevere. Now sometimes one having the habit of perseverance chooses indeed to persevere, and begins to put his choice into execution by holding on for some time, but does not complete the act, because he does not hold on to the end. There are two ends, one that of a particular work, the other that of human life. Of itself it belongs to perseverance that one should persevere even to the end of a virtuous work, as a soldier to the end of the conflict, and the munificent man to the completion of his work. But there are some virtues, the acts of which ought to last all life long, as faith, hope, and charity, which regard the last end of human life. And in respect of these virtues, being as they are primary, the act of perseverance is not completed even till the end of life.
Article II.—Is perseverance a part of fortitude?
R. To fortitude there must be attached, as a secondary virtue to its primary, every virtue the praise of which consists in enduring firmly anything that is difficult. But to endure the difficulty that arises from the length of a good work, gives praise to perseverance; nor is this so difficult as it is to face perils of death. And therefore perseverance is attached to fortitude as a secondary virtue to its primary.