THE TWELVE VIRTUES

The hymn of the Twelve Virtues is usually chanted by the on occasions when the pope or a bishop is present during the celebration of the .

After reading the Pauline epistle, which is the first of the liturgical lections, the hymn starts with the following petition: “May the Twelve Virtues of the , as recorded in the Holy Scripture, come upon our blessed father the Patriarch, Pope [name] and his co-partner in the Apostolic Ministry, (or Bishop) [name]. May the Lord God establish him upon his See for many peaceful years, and bring his adversaries under his feet.” Two groups of deacons then take turns in singing the hymn, each reciting three virtues at a time.

These virtues are the sum total of the attributes of Christian perfection, distilled from the teachings of Christ and the apostles and, together, make the perfect head of the church. The virtues and some of their biblical sources are as follows:

  1. Love, the greatest of all virtues: Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27; 15:12; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 1:5.
  2. Hope: 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 6:18.
  3. Faith: Matthew 23:23; Ephesians 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
  4. Purity: 2 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Timothy 4:12.
  5. Chastity: Matthew 19:12; 1 Corinthians 7:8, 32-33.
  6. Love of peace: Matthew 5:9; Romans 10:15; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Hebrews 12:14; 1 3:11.
  7. Wisdom: Matthew 10:16, 24:45; Luke 12:42, 21:15; Acts 6:3; Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 4:5; James 3:13.
  8. Righteousness: Matthew 3:15; Luke 1:74-75; Acts 10:35; Romans 4:3, 5, 9, 22; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23.
  9. Meekness: Matthew 11:29, 21:5; 2 Corinthians 10:1; Galatians 5:22-23.
  10. Patience: Luke 8:15, 21:19; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 3:10; James 5:11; Revelations 1:9, 2:2-3.
  11. Forbearance: Romans 2:4, 9:22; Corinthians 6:6; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:1-2.
  12. : Titus 1:7-8; 1 Corinthians 9:25.

BISHOP GREGORIOS

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