Was Mary 'really' married to Joesph?


I ask because under the perpetual virginity belief, she never would have consumated her marriage with Joesph… yet that is grounds for a annulment as a marriage is never fully a marriage till it is consumated?!


p.s. ive read a bit a bout Josephite marriages but i dont quite understand there meaning


Not quite. A marriage contracted by persons free to marry each other is always considered valid until proven otherwise. Thus, while some failed marriages may be found null by reason of non-consumation, it must be emphasized that only failed marriages are subjected to this examination.

By contrast, there may be any number of successful marriages in which the spouses may choose not to exercise their right to sexual intercourse for any reason, as is also their right if mutually agreed upon. These marriages are not subjected to examination for grounds of nullity and are always considered valid.


Hi! I believe that both of them did get married.

Go and check Matthew 1:25,
My Bible translation says “and did not know her till she brought out he firstborn Son. And he called HIs name JESUS” (New King James Version [KJV]). If I’m not mistaken the KJV Bible is one of the oldest versions of the Bible. Now there are a few points in this verse I would like to point out.

  1. did not know her
    The question here is; who did not know her? Whats the meaning of “know” in the verse? Okay, The person who did not “know” her is Joseph the man who took Mary(her) as his wife (Matthew 1:19) did not know her. Know can mean only one thing here, since it would seriously supid for Joseph to take Mary as his wife. Would you marry a girl/man whom you did not even know? I would deffinitely not! So “know” here would be translated like this “Joseph did not have any Sexual relations at all with her” So this I believe answers the question as in whether or not Joseph married Mary.

  2. till she brought out her first born son
    Her firstborn, if there was only one son why not put “her only son”, instead they put firstborn. if there was a firstborn then there must be a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and so on…
    This is evidence that Joseph married Mary. (compare John 3:16)

If anyone reading this should say that the person who wrote this is a protestant, No, I’m a 15 year old boy who loves the Word of God and believe that it should be the only law in the Church along with other laws with condition that the particular law is discerned with the power if of The Holy Spirit.

I love this translation of the Bible, The Message (MSG)
“Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.” Matthew 1:25

Consummate:As a verb, consummate means to bring something to its completion, such as a transaction, concept, plan or action.

Marriages, or love relationships, or for pleasure in an informal sense, are said to be consummated when the act of sexual intercourse has taken place after the ceremony or confession of love. (Wikipedia)

It was an act to bring something to its completion, in this case, Joseph and Mary brought their marriage into completion by consummating it. In other words, By having sex they consummated their marriage. Why would Joseoh consummate someone in which he did not marry? To me its would be stupidity.

I think we as Catholics should come to know our Bible better.


Briefly, “firstborn” is a legal term denoting that he is the legal inheritor of his parent’s estate. It in no way requires a second born. An only son is also a firstborn son.
“Until” or “till” in Greek does not necessarily require a change in circumstances the way the English word usually does and there are many verses in Scripture where this is clearly the case with this word. Matthew 1:25 is only telling us that Jesus was not the result of a sexual union between Joseph and Mary. You would have us believe that Matthew is giving us intimate details of their marriage after the birth of Jesus which are completely superfluous to the Gospel message. This is not the case though, Matthew simply tells us Christ was not the result of a sexual act in most economical use of the Greek language. He says nothing at all about what happened after Jesus’ birth

BTW, The Message is not a translation, it is an interpretation of another English translation and as such is prone to error.

My understanding is that Mary and Joseph were betrothed, a legally binding state with the responsibility of marriage, and they remained in this state “until” Joseph died.


Who has said that a Marriage is not a Marriage until it is consumated? A Marriage is not found to be invalid only because it was never consumated.


Mary and Joseph were married under Jewish law, and the gospel tells us they complied with that law, so yes they were married, and the issue of consumation does not arise.


Betrothal was the first stage of marriage at that time, and it was against Mosaic Law to have conjugal relations during this period of the contracted marriage. Mary and Joseph could not have led normal lives in Jewish society in company with the child Jesus without creating a scandal, if what you say were true. There is no record in the Gospels of the Jews condemning the couple for having a child. Instead we read in Matthew 13,55: “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” Jesus was a welcomed addition to the community until he scandalized many people with his teachings.We should note that Joseph was already betrothed to Mary when the angel Gabriel visited him in a dream and said: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him (Mt 1,20,24). The second stage of the marriage was now fulfilled. Their neighbours obviously thought that Jesus was the fruit of Mary and Joseph’s union. Still some Jewish couples did contract celibate marriages, as is indicated by the names of such couples recorded in the Jewish catacombs in Rome. The early Church Fathers concluded that Mary and Joseph had made a private vow to live as brother and sister after the wedding, while in public they appeared to be a normally wedded Jewish couple on account of their son.

Our Blessed Mother’s wedding ring is kept at the Cathedral of Perugia in Umbria, Italy. The Cattedrale di San Lorenzo houses her wedding ring. It is said that fifteen people keep fifteen separate keys to open the box that holds the ring. It is shown on only one day of the year. Countless pilgrims flock there on that marked day. Until the middle ages, the ring had been kept in the Italian town of Chiusi.

Pax vobiscum
Good Fella :cool:


Theirs firstly was not a Catholic marriage, secondly they were in a unique position due to Mary’s being chosen to bear Jesus.

Certainly none of the Gospel writers seem to have been in any doubt that Joseph truly was Mary’s husband and she his wife - nor, more importantly, was the angel who spoke to Joseph. :shrug:


Check out this thread, several of our Jewish fellow-CAF-ers were kind enough to provide me information about Jewish marriage. The 2 salient points are that sexual intercourse was only 1 of 3 possible ways that a legal marriage could be enacted, and sexual intercourse is the woman’s right, not the mutual right that we in Catholicism are familiar with. So, sex was not necessary for Mary and Joseph to actually be married, and it would be totally up to Mary as to whether they would engage in that activity. (and don’t let our Protestant brothers tell you she was just as…you know…as us. That’s an unfounded statement.)


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