Piety

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Piety

In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue that may include religious devotion, spirituality, or a mixture of both. A common element in most conceptions of piety is humility.

Etymology[edit]

The word piety comes from the Latin word pietas, the noun form of the adjective pius (which means "devout" or "dutiful").

Classical interpretation[edit]

Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man with pietas respected his responsibilities to gods, country, parents, and kin.[1] In its strictest sense it was the sort of love a son ought to have for his father. Aeneas's consistent epithet in Virgil and other Latin authors is pius, a term that connotes reverence toward the gods and familial dutifulness. At the fall of Troy, Aeneas carries to safety his father, the lame Anchises, and the Lares and Penates, the statues of the household gods.

In addressing whether children have an obligation to provide support for their parents, Aquinas quotes, Cicero, "..."piety gives both duty and homage": "duty" referring to service, and "homage" to reverence or honor."[2] Filial piety is central to Confucian ethics.[3]

As a virtue[edit]

In Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, and Anglicanism, piety is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. "It engenders in the soul a filial respect for God, a generous love toward him, and an affectionate obedience that wants to do what he commands because it loves the one who commands."[4]

Piety belongs to the virtue of Religion, which the concordant judgment of theologians put among the moral virtues, as a part of the cardinal virtue Justice, since by it one tenders to God what is due to him.[5]

Pope Francis described piety as "...opening up one’s heart to God and one’s arms to embrace everyone as brothers and sisters." [6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Virtue of Religion". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

External links[edit]