One of the three principal tenets of a Freemason's profession, and thus defined in the lecture of the First Degree:
To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Freemasons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and establish our connections.
Of the three tenets of a Freemason's profession, which are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, it may be said that Truth is the Column of Wisdom, whose rays penetrate and enlighten the inmost recesses of our Lodge; Brotherly Love, the Column of Strength, which binds us as one family in the indissoluble bond of fraternal affection; and Relief, the Column of Beauty, whose ornaments, more precious than the lilies and pomegranates that adorned the pillars of the porch, are the widow's tear of joy and the orphan's prayer of gratitude.