There are many colloquialisms which we state via regularity. "Absence makes the heart prosper fonder," is one example. "Patience is a virtue" is one more. Do you ever pausage to wonder wright here theses phrases come from and why we say them?


"Patience is a virtue" is a idea that"s widely embraced, yet once did we first start saying it? We must take a lengthy walk ago via background to find out.

You are watching: Patience is a virtue virtue is a grace

What Does "Patience Is a Virtue" Mean?

This sentiment is a reflection upon someone"s capability to wait for somepoint. By calling patience a virtue, or state of ethical excellence, it leads world to believe an capacity to wait without agitation is an admirable high quality.

Part of the factor this has been a long-standing fact throughout background is because patience frequently goes versus our instincts. It"s somepoint everyone battles via, consisting of our earliest ancestors.

The excellent news is, patience is a skill that can be learned over time. The even more we exercise patience, the less most likely we are to become agitated as soon as required to wait for somepoint. Mastering this virtue will certainly make for a happier life. That"s certainly one of the reasons why it"s so famously touted by writers and also theorists afavor.

Origins of “Patience Is a Virtue”

Like many type of of the famous sayings we remention today, the original writer of "Patience is a virtue" is hard to pin down. Some day it earlier to Cato to the Elder in the third or fourth century. Others attribute it to The Canterbury Tales, created during the 14th century. Because literary works is fairly fluid and also shared by many type of, authors often observe similar ideas and themes. It can be hard to attribute commonly accepted thoughts or reflections to one individual.

Let"s take a look at some of the well known writers who might have coined this now-prevalent colloquialism.

Cato the Elder

Dating earlier to the third or fourth century, we understand of The Distichs of Cato, typically referred to as Cato. This was a Latin collection of proverbial wisdom and also morality, ending up being the the majority of famous Latin textbook in the Center Ages. It was taken into consideration not just a textbook for discovering Latin, yet great morals, also.

Assumed to have been written by Cato the Elder, tbelow is a line in this message that reads, "Of huguy virtues, patience is most excellent." While this is a striking statement in defense of patience, Cato regularly gets overlooked as the originator of this sentiment.


Other research dates this saying ago to the fifth century. It was then that Latin poet Prudentius composed a close to thousand-line epic poem, Psychomania, describing the dispute in between vice and also virtue. The primary characters were Hope, Sobriety, Chastity, and Humility, as they battled against Pride, Wrath, Paganism, and also Avarice.

Although the famed line "Patience is a virtue" isn"t expressly stated in Psychomania, it"s one of the earliest recorded attempts at highlighting patience as a virtue, or state of moral excellence.

Piers Plowman

It’s a lot of frequently believed that the line originated from the poem, Piers Plowman, said to have actually been written around 1360 by English poet William Langland, around a man trying to find belief. One line in the poem states that “patience is a fair virtue.”

The poem is an allegory, interpretation the characters are symbolic and also satirical. However before, the allegory isn’t vague or abstract. Langland also complied with a similar pattern to Prudentius and also used personification to show human virtues.

The main characters in this poem include Truth (God), Wrong (Devil), Divine Church, Thought, Wit, Study, Conscientific research, Liar, Reaboy, Dowel (do well), Dobet (carry out better) and Doideal (perform best), plus the seven deadly sins. The personalities are lead on a pursuit by Piers Plowmale. Plowguy is favored as the guide due to his state of moral excellence.

The Canterbury Tales

Ten years later on, Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales began to obtain notoriety. This is an additional story, or series of stories, detailing virtue"s place in one"s life. The characters in each tale embark on pilgrimperiods, motivated by love, and defined by self-denial and contrition.

In The Canterbury Tales, we find a comparable quote, “Patience is a high virtue.” While these pilgrimperiods were marked by virtuous actions, it"s made clear that the practice of patience made for a much more contented journey, even in the confront of self-denial and contrition.

Interestingly enough, Chaucer described Cato in Canterbury Tales. He composed, "He knew not Catoun, for his wit was rude." Although he doesn"t mention patience directly, Chaucer alludes to Cato"s message as being an authority on morality.

A Typical Sentiment

So we can check out that "patience is a virtue" has actually long been touted as a global fact. Common sentiments such as this often make their way into the literature of the moment, which provides it tough to pinsuggest the specific beginning of the phrase given that the quote might have already been recognized to human being through an oral story legacy.

The fight against impatience has been consistent, through eextremely generation. In the finish, if patience is victorious, we"re well positioned to live a happier, even more virtuous life, in that very concerned state of moral excellence.

See more: Why Do Buddhists Reject The Idea Of The Hindu Caste System? ?

While we continue on our course to such excellence, gain some even more by these wise men, including Geoffrey Chaucer and also William Langland also.