Preternatural Gifts and the Cardinal Virtues

According to Catholic Tradition, Adam and Eve were endowed with “preternatural gifts”. These preternatural gifts are identified as the following:

1. Infused Knowledge
2. Immortality
3. Integrity (human appetites being completely submitted to the human intellect)

Adam and Eve were also constituted in original righteousness (justitia) on account of the supernatural gift of sanctifying grace:

4. Original Righteousness

These four gifts correspond to the four Cardinal Virtues:

Prudence (relating to knowledge)
Fortitude (relating to immortality)
Temperance (relating to integrity)
Justice (relating to original righteousness)

On account of sin, humanity lost the preternatural gifts and the supernatural gift and fell to a natural state. Man’s intellect became darkened, he became subject to disease and death, concupiscence or the “lust of the flesh” arose in man, and he lost his original righteousness and thus gained original sin.

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