Was Mary always a virgin?


#1

I was told by someone in my family that Catholics believe Mary was always a virgin - never was “with” Joseph. Then I was at my RCIA class & was told they believe they did consumate the marriage. Does anyone know if there is an actual church belief on this? I always thought that Mary actually had other children with Joseph. Is that a protestant opinion?


#2

[quote=momof3boys]I was told by someone in my family that Catholics believe Mary was always a virgin - never was “with” Joseph. Then I was at my RCIA class & was told they believe they did consumate the marriage. Does anyone know if there is an actual church belief on this? I always thought that Mary actually had other children with Joseph. Is that a protestant opinion?
[/quote]

Our Lady is the Blessed Virgin Mary, always was, always will be. Whoever said that in your class was wrong, tell them to read their Cathechism and these sites for further information:
www.catholic.com this site’s home page
www.ewtn.com
www.vatican.va those are just three really good one’s for a start.


#3

This was actually the person teaching the class that night. He said he felt Joseph was a normal man & why wouldn’t they want to be together?
Thanks for the links, though, I think I’ll go check them out.


#4

[quote=momof3boys]I was told by someone in my family that Catholics believe Mary was always a virgin - never was “with” Joseph. Then I was at my RCIA class & was told they believe they did consumate the marriage. Does anyone know if there is an actual church belief on this? I always thought that Mary actually had other children with Joseph. Is that a protestant opinion?
[/quote]

Your post may get more responses in the Sprituality forum.

But, yes, Mary was always a virgin. Mary and Joseph never consummated the marriage. If you were told otherwise in RCIA you were misinformed. In the Bible where it refers to Jesus’ “brothers”, it is actually cousins or other male relatives. There was no separate word for “cousin”. There is some Catholic tradition for Joseph being an older man, a widower with other children, when he married Mary.

I can try to find the Catechism reference if no one else provides it.


#5

Thank you - that’d be great. :smiley:


#6

[quote=momof3boys]This was actually the person teaching the class that night. He said he felt Joseph was a normal man & why wouldn’t they want to be together?
Thanks for the links, though, I think I’ll go check them out.
[/quote]

Answering with a question like that is no way to teach. Mary knew that the Angel Gabriel had appeared to her and that the Holy Spirit had made her “with child.” She would have conveyed all this to Joseph. Holy man that he was, he believed her and protected the Christ Child. They devoted themselves to raising the Son of God. All of their “normal” desires were meaningless in the face of raising the Christ Child. They devoted themselves to God. In this way their marriage was completely God-centered to the exclusion of all else.


#7

Catehism of the Catholic Church–in brief:

508 From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. “Full of grace”, Mary is “the most excellent fruit of redemption” (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.

509 Mary is truly “Mother of God” since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself.

510 Mary “remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin” (St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999): with her whole being she is “the handmaid of the Lord” (Lk 1:38).

511 The Virgin Mary “cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation” (LG 56). She uttered her yes “in the name of all human nature” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.

vatican.va/archive/catechism/p122a3p2.htm#brief


#8

[quote=momof3boys]This was actually the person teaching the class that night. He said he felt Joseph was a normal man & why wouldn’t they want to be together?
Thanks for the links, though, I think I’ll go check them out.
[/quote]

Absolutely it is Catholic teaching that Mary was a perpetual virgin. Here are the references from the Catechism:
*
Mary-"ever-virgin"
499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.[154] In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.”[155] And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin”.[156]

500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus.[157] The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus”, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary”.[158] They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.[159]

501 Jesus is Mary’s only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: “The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother’s love.”[160]

Mary’s virginal motherhood in God’s plan
502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.

503 Mary’s virginity manifests God’s absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. “He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed. . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures.”[161]

504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.”[162] From his conception, Christ’s humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God “gives him the Spirit without measure.”[163] From “his fullness” as the head of redeemed humanity “we have all received, grace upon grace.”[164]

505 By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. “How can this be?”[165] Participation in the divine life arises “not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”.[166] The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit’s gift to man. The spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God[167] is fulfilled perfectly in Mary’s virginal motherhood.

506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith “unadulterated by any doubt”, and of her undivided gift of herself to God’s will.[168] It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Saviour: “Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ.”[169]

507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: “the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse.”[170] *

First, go straight to the priest and inform him that the RCIA leader said this. He needs to be removed immediately. Those who are in charge of teaching the faith to inquirers must be qualified and knowledgeable. It is quite obvious this person is neither.

Secondly, buy a Catechism. Show it to your instructor. Demand he teach what the Church teaches.

Thirdly, if the priest refuses to address the issue of the misinformation, then find another parish RCIA program meeting with the parish priest first to discuss your concerns.

You deserve to be taught properly. I went through RCIA in 1992. I did learn from the program, but I did a lot of research on my own too.


#9

#10

Mom,

Please report this person to the pastor, or, if he dosn’t care, to the bishop. Herasy should not ber taught in an RCIA class where most people would just take the info as Catholic “truth”. People are not coming into the Catholic Church to be taught someone’s “opinion”.

BTW- One thing I heard Scott Hahn talking about on the radio once was the relationship of Mary to the “Ark of the Covenant” (One of her titles) In it he relates how an attendant once stopped the Ark from tipping over (sorry- don’t remember the book/verse) and was struck dead by God. If a man was struck dead for touching a box that contained the word of God, why wouldn’t God strike down Joseph if he ever “touched” Mary, who was the Ark that carried the “word”- Jesus.

As for Adam and Eve, even scientists have admitted to tracing the entire female population of the earth back to 7 women, cryptically called “the 7 daughters of Eve” - do a google on it, very interesting stuff! (They can’t do the same type of stuff for male DNA)


#11

[quote=Siena]BTW- One thing I heard Scott Hahn talking about on the radio once was the relationship of Mary to the “Ark of the Covenant” (One of her titles) In it he relates how an attendant once stopped the Ark from tipping over (sorry- don’t remember the book/verse) and was struck dead by God. If a man was struck dead for touching a box that contained the word of God, why wouldn’t God strike down Joseph if he ever “touched” Mary, who was the Ark that carried the “word”- Jesus.
[/quote]

There’s also a messianic prophecy that says Jesus will pass through a gate that no other man shall pass through. I can’t remember the verse off the top of my head.


#12

As for Adam and Eve, even scientists have admitted to tracing the entire female population of the earth back to 7 women, cryptically called “the 7 daughters of Eve” - do a google on it, very interesting stuff! (They can’t do the same type of stuff for male DNA)

Very interesting. Thanks. The teacher brought up the fact that Adam & Eve’s son’s had wives & where would the wives come from? I apologize again if I am in the wrong forum for this.


#13

[quote=Genesis315]There’s also a messianic prophecy that says Jesus will pass through a gate that no other man shall pass through. I can’t remember the verse off the top of my head.
[/quote]

That’s very interesting, too. Thanks. :slight_smile:


#14

The people who told you to report this to the Pastor are correct too, you deserve the truth, not opinions.
Also, the person who told you that you can do a lot of research yourself is excellent advice. Then you can take your Cathechism or print a page out from your computer from a “trusted” site like this one, or the ewtn one or the official Vatican web site that I gave you above.
Makes me think that we who are truly knowledgeable in the Church’s teachings need to get back to teaching it again. I did for 20 years and now I am thinking back to the dear Sisters who taught me, some of them taught until the day they died. The Priests’ too. It’s sad that those who “teach” don’t even seem to know the truth themselves sometimes. But they are probably the only one’s volunteering to do it. They do have the responsibility to teach the truth though, and if they don’t know it, they need to learn it too, even from someone like you, often times that is probably how they learn. (guess everyone can’t know everything)however, they need to teach what the Church teaches if they are going to be teaching.


#15

This is somewhat off-topic, but when we went to the compulsory education evening before being allowed to have our baby baptised, the woman running the show commented that she was reading the new book (it was a few years ago) called The Da Vinci Code and it contained some really thought-provoking details about Church history.

Folks who teach the faith improperly really need to be weeded out or this kind of garbage will spread.


#16

Adam, Eve, and Evolution [was there one original human couple]: catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp

Mary, Ever-Virgin: catholic.com/library/Mary_Ever_Virgin.asp

The “Brethren” of the Lord: catholic.com/library/Brethren_of_the_Lord.asp

Get this book, which has clear answers, quoting documents of the Church and the ancient fathers, proving the teaching concerning these questions: amazon.com/gp/product/1901157148/
(“Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine”)


#17

[quote=momof3boys]As for Adam and Eve, even scientists have admitted to tracing the entire female population of the earth back to 7 women, cryptically called “the 7 daughters of Eve” - do a google on it, very interesting stuff! (They can’t do the same type of stuff for male DNA)

Very interesting. Thanks. The teacher brought up the fact that Adam & Eve’s son’s had wives & where would the wives come from? I apologize again if I am in the wrong forum for this.
[/quote]

It doesn’t matter what forum you are on, we are just glad you are here asking questions!

Please, please, please discuss this with the pastor. This is just outrageous! You deserve so much better.

Yes, the Church teaches literal first parents from whom all humans descended. See the Encyclical Humanae Generis which clarifies this issue quite succinctly. You can pull it up and print it out at www.ewtn.com in the Document Library (or buy it a Catholic bookstore).

As for the wives of Cain, Abel, Seth-- they married their sisters.

Here are the Catechism references for the reality of Original Sin as the sin of our original parents-- real people who committed a real sin:

*402 All men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as St. Paul affirms: “By one man’s disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners”: “sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.”[289] The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.”[290]

403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the “death of the soul”.[291] Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.[292]

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam “as one body of one man”.[293] By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.[294] It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” - a state and not an act. *


#18

[quote=Philip76]This is somewhat off-topic, but when we went to the compulsory education evening before being allowed to have our baby baptised, the woman running the show commented that she was reading the new book (it was a few years ago) called The Da Vinci Code and it contained some really thought-provoking details about Church history.

Folks who teach the faith improperly really need to be weeded out or this kind of garbage will spread.
[/quote]

:bigyikes: I sure hope you commented on that one right then and there! I know I would have.


#19

Yes she was according to Catholic teaching.

As far as “parish instructors”, that’s horrible that they are so ignorant yet they are the teachers!! Better to have no new Catholics if orthodox well informed teachers are not avaialble then to settle for anyone who is free and willing to “help”. This stuff seems to happen often and is just so wrong I don’t know where to start.


#20

[quote=momof3boys]I was told by someone in my family that Catholics believe Mary was always a virgin - never was “with” Joseph. Then I was at my RCIA class & was told they believe they did consumate the marriage. Does anyone know if there is an actual church belief on this? I always thought that Mary actually had other children with Joseph. Is that a protestant opinion?
[/quote]

If you were told in your RCIA class that Mary was not perpetually a Virgin you were told an untruth and you need to go BACK to that class and correct the teacher.

Catholics believe, as a matter of FAITH and Dogma in the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Mother.


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