The seven virtues, the foundation of Christian morality, consist of the four natural or cardinal virtues - prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice - and the three theological virtues - faith, hope, and charity.
The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is said to have first named the four natural virtues, which he believed common to all humanity, and Plato and Aristotle later referred to them in their writing. The Apostle Paul first distinguished the theological virtues as distinctly Christian, and considered them special gifts transmitted through Christ. He singled out charity as the most important. The medieval Christian philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas developed a complete moral system based on the seven virtues in his Summa Theologiae (Summary Treatises of Theology), which he wrote between 1266 and 1273.