1 page backTarot di Mantegna - A journeyCosmic Principlesnext card
Charita - XXXVIII of Mantegna Tarot

Charita - XXXVIII

The Virtue of Charity

With the next three cards we meet the Three Theological Virtues Charita, Speranza and Fide (Charity, Hope and Faith) as listed by St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians.

In Christian thinking 'charity' means not so much the actual charity of giving, but rather the all-encompassing love and kindness towards others. Aquinas in particular was eager to point out the importance of this virtue as the love of God.

The artist who created the Mantegna deck, however, concentrated on charity in the literal sense of the word, using strong symbols as the bag (or purse) freely sharing grain (or coins) and the pelican feeding its young ones with its own blood to prevent them from starving.

While absent from the traditional Tarot, the three theological virtues are present in the Minchiate decks.

Next card: XXXVIIII Speranza, Virtue of Hope