*vade mecum \vay-dee-MEE-kuhm; vah-dee-MAY-\ (noun) –
1 : A book for ready reference; a manual; a handbook.
2 : A useful thing that one regularly carries about.
"The same day the youth set out on his journey equipped with his father’s three gifts, namely, the fifteen crowns, the horse and the letter to Monsieur de Treville. As may well be imagined, the advice had been thrown into the bargain. With such a vade mecum, D’Artagnan was, morally and physically, an exact replica of Cervantes’ hero, to whom we so aptly compared him when our duties as historian placed us under the necessity of sketching his portrait." — Alexandre Dumas, ‘The Three Musketeers’
Vade mecum is from Latin, literally meaning "go with me."
venial \VEE-nee-uhl\ (adjective) – Capable of being forgiven; not heinous; excusable; pardonable.
"Martin’s latest error was a venial one, although that he made so many of them so frequently was not something which was lost on those higher-up in the chain of command."
Venial comes from Latin venia, "grace, indulgence, favor." It is not to be confused with venal, which means "capable of being bought; salable; open to bribery," and comes from Latin venum "sale." Remember that venial, like sin, has an i in it.
virtu \vuhr-TOO; vir-\ (noun) –
1 : love of or taste for fine objects of art.
2 : Productions of art (especially fine antiques).
3 : Artistic quality.
"There were gorgeous carpets and hangings, frescoed ceilings, spurious objects of virtu, and pier-tables loaded with ornaments." — Emile Gaboriau, ‘The Count’s Millions’
Virtu comes from Italian virtu "virtue, excellence," from Latin virtus, "excellence, worth, goodness, virtue."
visage \VIZ-ij\ (noun) –
1 : The face, countenance, or look of a person or an animal; — chiefly applied to the human face.
2 : Look; appearance; aspect.
"And then he put off his helm, and she saw his visage, she said, ‘O sweet Jesu, thee I must love, and never other.’ Then show me your visage,’ said he." – Thomas Malory, ‘Le Morte d’Arthur’
Visage is from Old French, from vis, "face," from Latin visus, "seeing, sight, hence what is seen, appearance," from the past participle of videre, "to see."
votary \VOH-tuh-ree\ (noun) –
1. One who is devoted, given, or addicted to some particular pursuit, subject, study, or way of life.
2 : A devoted admirer.
3 : A devout adherent of a religion or cult.
4 : A dedicated believer or advocate.
"A priestess led a young man out onto the sunken floor, pulling him with a chain fixed to the manacles on his wrists; a second votary walked behind him, a sword at his back." — Mark E. Rogers, ‘Blood + Pearls’
Votary comes from Latin votum, "vow," from the past participle of vovere, "to vow, to devote." Related words include vow and vote, originally a vow, hence a prayer or ardent wish, hence an expression of preference, as for a candidate.