If Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, then is Joseph an adulterer?

**If Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, then is Joseph an adulterer?


If Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit as read into scripture, isn’t Joseph committing adultery?

And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. - Luke 1:35

Also, this isn’t the first time Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit, right? I actually asked this very question in another thread, suggesting it was her immaculate conception.

Thank you and God Bless and Love You!

Joseph was already married to Mary when the Angel appeared to her. Mary was "Filled’ with the Holy Spirit at the moment of her Conception. The "Overshadowing " of the Holy Spirit was the Conception of Jesus. Maybe you should talk to your priest about such serious matters before you accuse Joseph of such a terrible thing. God Bless, Memaw

I am sorry, if this post was meant to be a valid inquiry into the immaculate conception. However I find gall rising in my throat in talking about our Blessed Mother and the great St. Joseph in these terms.
I stupidly feel myself making fists in some innate anger. I hope others have less visceral responses to your post. God bless.


Joseph was a virgin just as Mary, for their whole lives.

Many Catholics (and others) need to have Scripture explained to them so they don’t come to their own conclusions.

Also, Jesus left us the authentic teaching (magisterium) of the Church, that cannot err in faith and morals.

It was startling to read how you articulated about St. Joseph.

I wonder if you’re thinking of “bigamy” instead of the stronger “adultery.” I mention the difference because of the related doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity:

The Case for Mary’s Perpetual Virginity
By: Tim Staples

But when Joseph found out that “the other” was the Holy Spirit, the idea of his having conjugal relations with Mary was not a consideration.

Even earlier, though, Staples talks about an argument that you may have heard before.

Mary’s response in Luke 1:34–literally, according to Staples, “How shall this be since I know not man?”–already strongly points to the idea of a vow of virginity and the idea that the marriage would not be a usual one. If a young wife is told that she will bear a son, she usually has a good idea of how such a conception could happen.

So one is left to ponder about what conversations this couple had before the whole process of marriage began; I’ve long thought, as others have, that both of them agreed beforehand about the nature of their marriage. (If your spouse or potential spouse had taken a vow of virginity prior to your marriage, wouldn’t you like to know?)

At the end of this piece:

An obvious question remains: Why did St. Joseph then “take [Mary] his wife” according to Matthew 1:24 if she belonged to the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is Mary’s spouse, but Joseph was her spouse and protector on this earth for at least two obvious reasons.

These two reasons are in (1) Joseph’s descent from David placing Jesus in the line of kingship (and his legal fatherhood would suffice here) and (2) the value, especially in a culture with less tolerance than ours of births outside marriage, of having a husband in the Holy Family.

Ahh… no, not necessarily; one of the earliest notions about Joseph was that he was a widower, having married Mary following the death of his first wife. (It is this notion that suggests that, perhaps, those IDed as the ‘brothers of Jesus’ were, in fact, his half-brothers from Joseph’s first marriage.)

So, although we know for sure that Mary was a virgin all her life, we only know that Joseph was chaste and continent in his marriage to her.

USCCB and other commentary on Luke is indeed a great help from OT to NT. Joseph came from royal lineage. The angel who first tells Joseph about Jesus greets him as “son of David,” a royal title.

Predestined through obedience and faith without knowing the outcome of the events to occur. :cool:

He went with the plan of placing his life in Gods hand. The sequence of events involves a few of the greatest mysteries of the Church. And the moral of the story is; “Thy will be done”. Joseph is not only chosen, but he is also supernaturally instructed.

I had to read the title a few times because I could not believe what I was reading. How dare you say such a thing? Do you know that St. Joseph respected Mary’s perpetual; virginity and did not have a relationship with her.

Get your facts straight before you post rubbish on this forum.

It’s sytartling to read, but I’ve wondered about the ‘bigamy’ aspect of things (rather than the more shocking ‘adultery’)

Coming from a protestant perspective, struggling with the idea of Mary’s perpetual virginity, it’s an interesting question.

But then, i suppose the church is the bride of Christ, and there’s a lot of us, but it’s not bigamy.

'Tis a puzzlement right now. But we should always be cautious with the terms we use to describe righteous believers.

I feel a need to step in here. I see what Godheals is asking and I don’t think he or she is suggesting St. Joseph was literally committing adultery but only that at first glance one could misunderstand and it might seem like it on a technicality, Though agreed, perhaps better terms could be used. (ie.if Jospeh is married to Mary and Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, why *isn’t * it adultery?)

First I think a good question would be to ask if Mary and Joseph’s marriage while under the Law was Sacramental unlike those before it.(as you know Jesus raised marriage to the dignity of a Sacrament while before the Law allowed the man to give a bill of divorce., I would be floored if the marriage between Joseph and Mary did not unite them as one flesh, albeit without the marital act. ) I know not necessarily pertinent to the question at hand but interesting nonetheless.

Anyway, having digressed substantially, Godheals, we come to your main question. No, Joseph was not guilty of adultery. Far from it. Joseph had a marriage covenant with Mary. He took her into his home and the lived as a family with Jesus. So, now whether or not the marriage was Sacramental, and I suspect it was, what Mary had with the Holy Spirit was of an entirely different nature.

And what did she have with Him? Spouse of the Holy Spirit is merely a title that explains in human terms as more sublime reality. Mary was united to the Spirit of God FAR more profoundly than a man and a woman in Sacramental marriage. St. Louise De Montfort, I think it was stated that this union was so close that it was nearly an incarnation of the Holy Ghost. Again, the language is rather poetic but what does the Saint mean? That the Holy Spirit was nearly in total possession of the human faculties of the Mother of God. Every single thing Mary did was touched by His influence. In the Hail Mary we pray, “the Lord is with thee”. And wow is God with her. He is and was with her, a creature, in a way that we will not experience before death. Again see how Mary is our Triumph, and a foretaste of Christ’s victory. In the Resurrection, Christ is Glorified and Mary followed suit. When her earthly life was complete, God raised her, body and soul and took her to Heaven. You see, Mary is thus our deposit on what is promised to us. In her, through Christ is our Hope and Glory and in her, the Church has reached Heaven.

There is no need for anyone to be puzzled or confused. It is very simple.

There would have been huge scandal without a human husband. Mary would have been seen as a sinner. God gave Mary a human husband so as not to cause scandal.

God also gave Mary a human husband in order to satisfy his own law which he had given Israel through Moses many centuries earlier. God cannot break his own law.

God prefers to act through people and so he acted through Joseph to satisfy his own law and to protecte Mary from physical harm. .


When we try to explain a infinite mystery with our finite minds and come up with this kind of rubbish it is time to kneel at the Cross in shame and plea for forgiveness.

Lord Jesus we pray for Your Mercy !

Joseph and Mary were betrothed at that time, but not fully married. Betrothal was a binding contract, but it was the period of engagement before marriage. During this time the couple does not live together nor do they have sexual relations. It is important because it must be clear that Jesus is NOT the offspring of Joseph.

Having been enlightened by an angel in a dream regarding her pregnancy, and perhaps further by Mary concerning the words of the archangel Gabriel to her at the Annunciation, Joseph knew that God had conducted himself as a husband in regard to Mary. She was now prohibited to him for all time, and for the sake of the Child and Mary he could only live with her in an absolutely chaste relationship.

Since Joseph and Mary never have intercourse there is NO question of adultery. A virgin cannot be an adulterer! Additionally, God would be incapable of the evil act of adultery.

St. Augustine (391-430AD) “a virgin conceiving, a virgin bearing, a virgin pregnant, a virgin bringing forth, a virgin perpetual.” #1518, III, p.30; also: #1642, III, p. 71; #1974d, p. 166.

St. Athanasius (358-362) in his Discourse Against the Arians called the Mother of Jesus, "the ever-virgin Mary" #767a, I, p. 330.

Didymus the Blind (381-392 - He was head of the catechetical school at Alexandria) “for neither did Mary. . . marry anyone, nor did she ever become the mother of anyone else, but even after childbirth she remained always and forever an immaculate virgin.” #1073, II, p. 62.

St. Epiphanius of Salamis (374) “the holy ever-virgin Mary” and “to Holy Mary is invariably added, for that Holy Woman remains undefiled.” #1111, II, p.76.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Thank you, that does make sense.:slight_smile:

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