Hi, a protestant friend of mine says that church doctrine states that Joseph was a widower and may have even had children before Mary. Is there truth to this? What does the church say about it?
The Protoevangelium of James indicates that Joseph was a widower with children when he was chosen by the Lord to be Mary’s husband. Although this document is not part of the canon of sacred Scripture, it is very old, dating back to the second century, so it gives us some insight into one possible scenario. However, the Church has not formally taken a position regarding Joseph’s status prior to marrying Mary.