Why do we believe that Mary was "ever-virgin?"

Why do we believe that Mary was “ever-virgin?” I’ve been reading up on this recently and most of what I read pulls from the Protoevangelium of James, written soon after Mother Mary’s Assumption into heaven. I know you can’t really argue with history, and I can trust that Mary’s being ever-virgin was God’s will. But there’s a part of me that can’t help but wonder if this at all has to do with the Church’s mixed history with the body and sex (e.g. we’ve constantly been putting the fig leaves on the genitals of statues, and then taking them off - do we revere our sexuality or are we ashamed of it?).

So my question is - why do we teach that Mary was ever-virgin, especially if we know she was married, was wife to Joseph? Doesn’t what the Church teaches about marriage and intercourse within marriage seem to directly contradict the idea of Mary as a married woman yet ever-virgin? Is there something I’m missing here that perhaps ought to be viewed in a more historical context to better understand this? **

Thank you :slight_smile:

The following links should assist you in better understanding Mary’s perpetual virginity. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

Recommended Reading:
Doesn’t Scripture imply that Mary had children other than Jesus?

Did Jesus have brothers?
Perpetual Virginity: Why is this important?
Mary: Ever Virgin

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How can we know a doctrine is true if it’s not in the Bible?
How do we know that the Protoevangelium of James is credible?

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Oral Traditions not found in the Bible

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