Virtues are sometimes relied on for courage and strength. They preside over conversions and support penitent sinners who seek to correct their defects. St. Peter mentions Angels, Power, and Virtue, referring to the good angels. Saint Paul speaks of Principalities, Powers, Virtues, and Dominions, in the sense of good spirits.
Virtues are the Fifth Angelic Choir
Their name means unyielding courage, man’s own quality, and by extension, skill, physical courage. The biblical manifestations of God are always spectacular. Just reread chapter 19 of the Book of Exodus, when Yahweh is preparing to give the Tables of the Law to Moses. There is thunder, rain, bellowing storm, lightning flashing the clouds, and finally an earthquake around Mount Sinai.
A few days after the last Easter that will pass in this world, Jesus preaches in the Temple in Jerusalem. To his disciples and to the crowd that came to listen to him he shows the signs of the last times (immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will darken, the moon will no longer give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the virtues of the heavens will be ripped apart ) Matthew 24: 29-30.
The following Friday, at 3 pm, Christ died on the cross: (Here the veil of the Sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth trembled and the rocks broke) (Matthew 2: 51). On the island of Patmos, John to his brothers frightened by the outbreak of persecutions discovers the secrets of the Lamb:
(Then a violent earthquake occurred. The sun turned black like a sack of horsehair, and the moon became all like blood, and the stars of heaven fell on the earth, like the aborted figs that project a fig tree bent by the storm, and the sky disappeared like a book that rolls up and the mountains and islands were moved from their place) (Ap 6: 12-14).
All these natural and cosmic manifestations disseminated in the texts of the Old and New Testaments have their titled masters of work, the Virtue Angels. In our age, even in believing circles, it is difficult to accept the idea that there are angels behind these phenomena of which we have the scientific explanation.
In fact, beyond the extraordinary aspect of these phenomena, and this very poetic construction, the role of the Virtue Angels is essentially that of regulators, of overseers. Their task is to watch over the proper functioning of the universe and its forces, according to what God wanted by creating these angels.
Their real intervention in this mechanism remains exceptional because the Virtue Angels are at first angels of miracles. These miracles must be within their reach and not modify the natural laws in force, a prodigy reserved for God alone. An angel will not be able to perform an impossible act to nature, a resurrection for example. On the other hand, the Virtues, by commanding the winds, can calm a storm, put an end to drought by making the rainfall.
According to Pseudo-Dionysius, the Areopagite’s name of holy Virtue indicates a certain powerful and strong courage that flows from all their energies similar to God. That grows in the fullness of power towards assimilation with God, without ever leaving the divine life by means of their own fragility. But by ascending to the High Power which is the source of all virtues and providentially placing oneself in front of those below, abundantly covering them with virtue.
The Seraphic Doctor Saint Bonaventure attributes to the Virtues the power of execution of divine orders. But where the Pseudo-Dionysius and most authors speak of Virtue. Other experts move away from the traditional classification. Affirming that the Virtues are immediately above the Angels and Archangels.
The angels of the third choir, the Virtues, have a bluish dress with a golden belt. A large circle of gold surrounds their head, a bright star shines above their forehead. As their name indicates, these angels personify virtue which is a force.