The Cardinal Virtues: Justice
The Philatelic and Numismatic Office dedicates this year’s 200 euro gold coin to justice, the second in the four year commemorative series started last year on the cardinal virtues. A work by artist Chiara Principe, the coin features frescoes by Raphael Sanzio adorning the ceiling of the Room of the Segnatura in the Vatican Museums. Justice appears personified as a woman seated on a throne of clouds who holds in her right hand a sword pointing upwards as if in the act of making a choice, and in her left hand, a scale in perfect balance. The sword recalls the moral strength necessary so that justice can exercise and enforce its own judgements, while the scale suggests the idea of deliberation, balance and fairness, and the duties of justice to promote, protect and restore. This virtue therefore has a strong moral imperative since it continually calls for making choices in favor of what is right, both in pursuing the common good and equality between persons, and therefore promoting harmony in human relations. “You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your neighbor justly” (Leviticus 19:15).