The Virtues Angels

Virtue angels on the mosaic ceiling of the Baptistery
Virtues angels on the mosaic ceiling of the Baptistery San Giovanni in Florence, Italy. Matthias Kabel

Virtues are a choir of angels in Christianity who are known for their work encouraging human beings to strengthen their faith in God. Often, virtue angels also perform miracles for people to inspire them to deepen their faith in their Creator.

Encouraging People to Trust God

Virtue angels encourage people to strengthen their faith by trusting God in deeper ways. Virtues try to inspire people in ways that help them grow in holiness.

The main method virtues use to do so is by sending positive thoughts of peace and hope into people's minds. When people are awake, they may perceive such encouraging messages especially during times of stress. When people are asleep, they may receive encouragement from virtue angels in their dreams.

Historically, God has sent virtues to encourage many people who would become saints after their deaths. The Bible describes a virtue angel speaking to Saint Paul the Apostle during a crisis, encouraging Paul that even though he would have to endure some intense challenges (a shipwreck and a trial before the Roman emperor Caesar), God would empower him to get through everything with courage.

In Acts 27:23-25, St. Paul tells the men on his ship: "Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me." The virtue angel's prophecy of the future came true. All 276 of the men on the ship survived the wreck, and Paul later courageously faced Caesar on trial.

The Jewish and Christian apocryphal text The Life of Adam and Eve describes a group of angels accompanying Archangel Michael to encourage the first woman, Eve, while she gave birth for the first time. Two virtue angels were among the group; one stood by Eve's left side and one stood at her right side to give her the encouragement she needed.

Performing Miracles to Point People to God

Angels from the virtues choir emanate the energy of God's grace by delivering his gifts of miracles to humanity. They often visit Earth to perform miracles that God has empowered them to perform in response to people's prayers.

In Kabbalah, virtue angels express God's creative power of Netzach (which means "victory"). God's power to overcome evil with good means that miracles are always possible in any circumstances, no matter how difficult they may be. Virtues urge people to look beyond their circumstances to God, who has the power to help them and bring good purposes out of any situation.

The Bible describes virtue angels showing up on the scene of a major miracle in history: the ascension to heaven of the resurrected Jesus Christ. The virtues appear as two men dressed in bright white clothing, and they speak to the crowd of people gathered there. Acts 1:10-11 records: "'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.'"

Grounding People's Hope in the Foundation of Faith

Virtues work to help people develop a strong foundation of faith, and they urge people to base all of their decisions on that foundation so their lives will be stable and strong. Virtue angels encourage people to place their hope in the only reliable source—God—rather than in anyone or anything else.