St. Vincent de Paul founded two Catholic religious orders devoted to doing works of charity.Definition and Explanation

  1. Catechism of the Catholic Church, point 1822:
    • "Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God."
  2. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae, IIa.IIae, question 23:
    • Charity is the virtue of friendship with God, which orders man's actions so that he unites himself with God.
    • Charity's principle end is God; other human beings are loved out of charity, for God's sake.
    • Because charity orders us to our ultimate end, no true virtue can be had without it. Without it, virtuous actions cannot fail to be imperfect.

Examples from Western History and Literature