THE TWELVE VIRTUES
The Twelve Virtues seem to be a monastic tradition from Upper Egypt and are illustrated in a niche of Bawit (chapel 6). Chapel 42 contains another inscription mentioning the twelve virtues of the Holy Spirit. The Book of Ordinations mentions that the bishop says inaudibly: “ . . . Me, the poor sinner . . . , pour forth on me the twelve virtues of Your goodness.”
A hymn for welcoming the patriarchs or the bishops details the Twelve Virtues of the Holy Spirit, praying that these virtues come upon the head of the patriarch or the bishop. A comparison between the different manuscripts of this hymn shows clearly that there is no fixed pattern of these virtues. Even the earlier manuscripts mention only 10 virtues.