Golden Eagles News · Sports Leader: Virtue of the Week- FORTITUDE

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Our virtue this week is FORTITUDE – The strength to overcome fear and to remain steady in our will in the face of obstacles always being reasonable. What are some of the fears that you most often have to deal with? What helps you to steady your will?


Lord, we want to thank You for our parents this week. It takes a lot of FORTITUDE to be a good and virtuous Mom or Dad these days. Help us to appreciate them, honor them and love them with all our hearts.

Does anyone have any prayer intentions? Who wants to lead us in a prayer?



Kerri Strug had two huge goals going into the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. First she wanted to lead team USA to a women’s gymnastics team gold and secondly, she wanted to win an individual gold medal. Though Kerri was considered to be a favorite to win individual gold, the Russian team was widely considered to be better than the American one.

The team competition was closer than anyone thought it would be and in the end, team USA was a little behind the Russians with only Kerri left to compete on the vault.
In the vault, you get two attempts, and the best of your two scores would get added to the team’s score. With the US in second place by such a close margin, winning the gold all came down to how Kerri did.

In her first attempt, she was slightly off balance and it resulted in an awkward landing, causing almost all her weight to come down on her left ankle. She immediately heard a cracking sounds and felt incredibly pain in her ankle. She knew something was wrong, but when she looked up and saw her score she knew it was not good enough to overtake the Russians.

She faced a decision. She could either sit out the next jump, have the team settle for second place, and take care of herself so she could compete the following week in the individual competition, or she could fight through the pain, risk injuring herself even more and give one more try at winning the team goal.

She decided to go for it. She fought through the pain and performed a near perfect vault (landing almost on one leg) and her score of 9.90 was good enough to win the gold for the US, for the first time in Olympic history.

Afterwards, the US team doctors informed her that she had sustained two torn ligaments in her ankle and she would have no chance of competing for the individual gold, which she had trained 15 years for.


How did Kerri show fortitude and use her will power?

Have you ever had to use your will to fight through some incredible pain or adversity?


Let’s practice the virtue of FORTITUDE right now by activating our willpower when we feel afraid or discouraged.


Tell me about some of the things you are most afraid of?

Tell me about how you go about using your will to conquer those fears?


Lord God, You are our Father in Heaven and You are the best example of a Father we could have.

Give our Dads and Moms the strength and the FORTITUDE to be like You in all things. Help us to honor, respect, obey and love our parents.

Help us to live the virtue of FORTITUDE this week by talking to our parents about some of the obstacles they have faced at work recently.


Talk to your parents about some of the obstacles they (Mom and Dad) have faced at work recently.



“Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.” – John Locke


“Patience and fortitude conquer all things” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“As a camel beareth labour, and heat, and hunger, and thirst, through deserts of sand, and fainteth not; so the fortitude of a man shall sustain him through all perils.” – Akhenaton


“The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance.” – Samuel Butler


“True fortitude is seen in great exploits that justice warrants and that wisdom
guides.” – Joseph Addison


“Fortitude I take to be the quiet possession of a man’s self, and an undisturbed doing his duty whatever evils beset, or dangers lie in the way.” – John Locke


“Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.”- Francis Bacon


John 16: 33
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”


St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Rose Philippine Duchesne was a pioneer, an educator, a vowed religious. Her fortitude, faith, courage and humility continue to inspire today. You can visit her shrine at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, Missouri.