Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Fundamentalists say it would have been repugnant for Mary and Joseph to enter a marriage and remain celibate. They call such marriages “unnatural” arrangements. Certainly they were unusual, but not as unusual as having the Son of God in one’s family, and not nearly as unusual as having a virgin give birth to a child! The Holy Family was neither an average family nor should we expect its members to act as would members of an average family.
The circumstances demanded sacrifice by Mary and Joseph. This was a special family, set aside for the nurturing of the Son of God. No greater dignity could be given to marriage than that. “
Some of the early writers have suggested that since Mary took a special vocation of virginity, she needed a guardian to protect her outside the temple while she was going through impurity (menstruation). Thus, lots were taken to decide among the widowers (men who have lost their wife) to be her guardian and husband. Some have suggested that Joseph all ready had children, and he too, vowed chastity after the death of his former wife. That’s why Joseph seems a lot older when you see pictures of the Holy Family.
Further reading on this subject:
*]Mary, The Blessed Virgin[/LIST] In regards to firstborn children (Luke 2:7), you do not need to have a second born child in order to present your firstborn in the temple (Luke 2:23). According to the Bible, the firstborn children were those that came out of the womb first. All only children are firstborn, but not all firstborn are only children.
Concerning her virginity, Matthew 1:25 says he knew her not “until” or he knew her not “at any time before…” The Greek word for until (hoes) does not imply that he knew her afterwards. Look at 2 Samuel 6:23: “Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no children until the day of her death.” Are we to assume she had children after her death? (See note below). Or, “Sit at my right until I make your enemies our footstool.” Is Jesus to sit on God’s left after his enemies are made his footstool? Matthew was only concerned with what happened prior to the birth of Christ. He only was saying that Jesus was born of a virgin. He was not concerned with their marital activity after Jesus birth.
Note: In Egypt they found and Jewish cemetery with a tomb of a woman having died giving birth to her firstborn. In the 1920’s an archeologist discovered the tomb of a Diaspora Jew in Egypt dating back to the time of Christ. The epitaph indicates that the woman buried there died in giving birth to her firstborn son (1). Since she died in childbirth, the mother clearly had no children after him, yet he is still called her “firstborn”. So Jesus certainly can be called Mary’s firstborn Son even though He is an only child.
(C.C. Edgar, Annales du Service des Antiquites de l’Egypte, 22 (1922), pp 7-16, n. 20-33. Cited by Jules Lebreton)
Brethren of the Lord
Mary Ever Virgin (Fathers)
NFP information (including a little history):