After the last figuration of the Senses Staircase, after a few hauls, a ground and some steps, the journey continues through the Theological Virtues, in order to provide the necessary skills to enter the temple, faith, hope and charity.
In this pilgrimage along the sacred mountain, the Virtues Staircase, dating from 1837, is the culmination of the winding staircase of the painful road. On this journey we realize the Footprints of Jesus, the vestiges of the footsteps in the direction of passion. The ascent of the staircase is walking, source of inspiration and reflection, because virtue is the way to happiness.
The Staircase of the Theological Virtues was conceived by Carlos Amarante, to the neoclassical taste that accompanied like architect, like master and like worker. The light-dark contrasts remain, as well as the angular lines of the northern granite on the terrace. Carlos Amarante would make Bom Jesus a sublime work of art, completing what the soaresque genius had anticipated. The neoclassical now flourishes, amidst the flaming jars and the sober lines, little given to decorative excesses.
The entrance of the staircase is provided by a large terrace, a quadrangular patio, a pair of obelisks, with stone seats and protected by rock walls. It is immediately shown that we have entered a new context, corresponding to a new architectural style, which would mark the physiognomy of the sanctuary.
Here the spectacle of the forms of the rococo gives place to the refinement provided by the return to the classic forms.
The construction began in the first two decades of the 19th century, with the respective fountains dedicated to the theological virtues.
The Virtues staircase completes the meaning of the 5 Senses Stairway, compound of three hauls with walls similar to those of the previous staircase, but with urns on the pilasters, springs appearing on the axis with the figures of faith, hope and charity, flanked by allegorical sculptures.
The fountains are torn in large oval openings or open arches on the walls, perfect niches, framed by Tuscan pilasters and topped by a small cut-out element, where urns are erected. Beneath the plinths of the statues are tombstones embedded with insciptions of sentences and precepts of the bilble.
The images of the theological virtues, fundamental pillars of religion, with the exception of hope, were executed by the sculptor bracarense António José Pereira.