I have been asked by a non-Catholic why it is so important for Catholics to believe that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus. It was also suggested by her that our belief that Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ is pure surmise and that the fact that cousins etc were called “brothers” and “sisters” is not proof. How do I answer this?
Here this will give you an idea of what the Church always believed.
Immaculate No Stain or Spot is repeated every century from the first foward.
Jesus had no Brothers or Sister, that is incorrect scripture interpretation. You can do a search on that here. There’s been a few very good threads here on this topic.
The short answer is Jesus is the New Covenant and;
Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant.
We know how revered the Ark of the Old Covenant was. It was made of the finest materials and it was holy and sacred.
The Ark of the Old Covenant held the rod of Aaron the High Priest.
Mary the Ark of the New Covenant held Jesus the Eternal High Priest.
The Ark of the Old Covenant held Manna (bread of life) for the wandering Israelites.
Mary the Ark of the New Covenant held Jesus the Bread of Eternal Life
The Ark of the Old Covenant held the the “Word of God” in stone, the 10 Commandments.
Mary the Ark of the New Covenant held Christ the living breathing Word of God in flesh.
Mary had to be pure and holy because she is the Ark of the New Covenant. The Old Testament foreshadows the New Testament.
Mary was sinless by the Grace of God.
Jesus was sinless by nature.
Email your friend the clip below, it describes Mary role supported by Scripture perfectly.
This thread should probably be moved to the Apologetics section.
I would recommend this short but informative article discussing St. Mary’s perpetual virginity from a Jewish perspective.
Because Mary is the Ark which held the Word made flesh in her womb that brought the new law, just like Moses’ box held the word written down that brought the old law.
People died for touching the Ark (box) because it was so holy. If we follow this divine analogy, we can easily see why God reserved Mary’s body for Himself and let no man touch her that way.
The fact that Christ was Who He said He was, God made man, demands that we honor His mother the way we do.
I think you’re on the right track, but the way you’ve worded it makes it seem as though having children as the product of the marital act is in itself somehow “unpure” or “unholy” (not saying that you meant to come across that way.) So I’ll just add my own little clarification. No offense intended. :o
The reason Mary could not have any other children IS indeed because she was the new Ark of the Covenant. Not because doing so would make Mary herself impure or unholy, but because the Ark of the Covenant is a dwelling place for the Lord alone (pure holiness.) Any other children would be born with original sin, which would “taint the ark,” so to speak. The same reason she had to be preserved from sin.
If Mary had oother children, where were they when their brother, Jesus, was crucified? Why did Jesus feel He needed to put Mary in St. John’s care? Surely Mary’s other children would want to care for their mother.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 Douay-Rheims Bible
“And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” **Luke 1:26-28 **Douay-Rheims Bible
"And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man ? Luke 1:34 Douay-Rheims Bible
“When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” John 19:26-27 Douay-Rheims Bible This is proof that Jesus is Mary’s ONLY child. When Jesus was on the cross, He gave care of His mother to John, His faithful disciple. She clearly had no other children other than Jesus. If She did then the other children would have been mentioned, and they would care for Mary, instead of the disciple John. There was no one else to look after Mary.
Not only does scripture prove that Mary was a virgin before Jesus was born, but also it proves that she remained a virgin all Her life.
You may ask them where were Mary’s other sons when Christ was being crucified. No Jew would have allowed his mother to be present at that execution. If Mary had other sons they would have become her guardian after Jesus’ death instead of the Apostle John.
It is not important, but it is true. All true things are not important.
It is true AND important the Jesus is the Son of God
It is true and NOT important that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod.
It is true and NOT important that Mary was immaculately conceived. We would still be saved.
It is true and NOT important that Mary was a virgin all her life. We would still be saved.
BUT Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth. What has been revealed is truth: Mary was immaculately conceived and was ever virgin. By knowing this truth, we can come to understand better the mind and will of God. We can still be saved without this knowledge but we are able to draw closer to God by having this knowledge and knowing that it is possible for a human being to be sinless through the gift of God’s grace.
From the Old Testament you can compare Mary’s virginity to the burning bush that was on fire but not consumed.
Or after Christ rose from the dead and passed through the locked door and stood among them, the same can be said of Mary’s perpetual Virginity, Christ passed through without touching it.
Good thread for apologetics forum