Why Mary's perpetual virginity


#1

I’m a devout Catholic and believe all that the Church teaches including Mary’s perpetual virginity. I’ve also have read where scripture and Tradition supports this belief. However, I was recently asked by another Catholic, “Why is it important that we must believe that Mary remained a virgin throughout her lifetime?” I din’t really know how to respond other than saying because truth is always important. What is a good response to give my friend?

Sincerely,
Dycon


#2

You might be interested in this dialogue from This Rock. See the last question and answer as a starting point.


#3

It is important because it drives home who Mary was, the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God! Her “spouse” was the Holy Spirit, and She remained faithful to Him!

It was not “business as usual” for someone given that role. There can be no “why can’t we be a normal family” type talk because that family was anything but ordinary or normal.


#4

You’re correct that it is important for us to believe it because it is true, and because it is a truth which God chose to reveal to his Church.

As to why Mary did remain a virgin, when is it proper for a woman to bear the children of two different fathers?

Also on a more practical note, if Jesus had other brothers and sisters, there would have been a great temptation in the early Church to worship them as God also.


#5

Here are some things that come to mind that support the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

In the Bible, miraculous conceptions (Sarah, mother of Isaac; Hannah, mother of Samuel; Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist) are not followed by any later natural conceptions.

The Blessed Virgin Mary’s question to the angel Gabriel, “How shall this be done, because I know not man?” only makes sense if she had already taken a vow of virginity.

The womb of the blessed Virgin Mary was made holy by the presence of God the Son, set apart from common use and dedicated to the service of God. Consequently, any subsequent natural conceptions would have profaned it.

It seems to me that, following Jesus’ ascension, any younger brother of His would have had a solid claim to the throne of David. Being an only child emphasizes the point that Jesus is the one and only rightful heir to the throne of David.


#6

If you look at Matthew 1:18-25, it says Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph, but while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Then visited by an angel, Joseph was told to go ahead with his marriage to Mary. Verse 25 says, But she remained a virgin UNTIL her son was born. I believe that she then consummated the marriage AFTER Jesus was born.


#7

Why do you believe that? There is nothing in Scripture to indicate that. We never hear of Joseph “knowing her” or that she “brought forth” any other children.

Please read this article.


#8

Pixie Dust Quote:
Originally Posted by jrssls
If you look at Matthew 1:18-25, it says Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph, but while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Then visited by an angel, Joseph was told to go ahead with his marriage to Mary. Verse 25 says, But she remained a virgin UNTIL her son was born. I believe that she then consummated the marriage AFTER Jesus was born.

Why do you believe that? There is nothing in Scripture to indicate that. We never hear of Joseph “knowing her” or that she “brought forth” any other children.

Matthew 1:25 “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn Son: and he called His name JESUS.”


#9

Because it is the TRUTH.


#10

Thank you for the above good site that should help to put the doubter’s questions to rest , unless the sin of giving the devil a foothold by holding onto anger against The Church / The Mother has been a predominating feature !

If the explanation in the above sighted article of how the term ’ till ’ does not have same meaning in Hebrew is unsatisfactory , another positive theological meaning for this verse (about St.Joseph not ‘knowing’ Bl.Mother till the birth of Lord Jesus ) would be how the event helped him to know at a greater level that she IS The Mother of the Promised Messiah !

There were the visits of the angels… the shepherds… the Magi …the presentation in the temple when Simeon prophesied that He would be a light even to the gentiles …and ’ the parents were amazed ! ’

( Since this event is in St.Luke’s gospel , traditionally known to be given to him by our bl.Mother herself, some have wondered if those sentiments of amazement were mostly on part of St.Joseph and our Bl.Mother , as a good wife owned up to this human side of St.Joseph too , even if she would have known more ! )

And would their hearts not have been filled with adoration and gratitude - those attitudes of the heart that we in The Church are given abundantly at every Holy Mass …and that have brought forth many with hearts and lives of total dedication without sentiments of deprivation …again unfathomable to our fallen away brethren …esp. in a culture where sex can be an idol !

O Mary concieved without sin, pray for us !


#11

I don’t need to read any article, the only article that I choose to believe is what is written in the Word. I don’t care if you’ve never heard of it before, that is why I quoted it from the Bible. I didn’t say that she had other children. But that she did eventually had sex with Joseph, because she was married to him.:bible1:


#12

If you look at Matthew 1:18-25, it says Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph, but while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Then visited by an angel, Joseph was told to go ahead with his marriage to Mary. Verse 25 says, But she remained a virgin UNTIL her son was born. I believe that she then consummated the marriage AFTER Jesus was born.

**The same Greek word, EOS, is used in the SAME Gospel in Mattheew 28:20.

If Matthew 1:18ff means that Mary and Joseph had marital relations after the birth of Jesus, then Matthew 28:20 means that at the end of the world Jesus will no longer be with us.**


#13

I don’t think that’s a good reason. While sex consummates a marriage, it doesn’t “make” a marriage. What brings a marriage into being is the exchange of consent. A man and a woman are married once they say “I do” to each other, even apart from the consideration of the conjugal act.


#14

You are following the teachings of men who have separated themselves from Apostolic Teaching.


#15

The article has evidence from Scripture that Mary was a perpetual virgin. If she had “eventually had sex with Joseph” there would have been more children. Sex causes pregnancy, you know. (God Incarnate excepted, of course!)


#16

So she had sex but she didn’t give birth to children??? :eek: Coitus interruptus??? :eek: So she just had sex with Joseph for pleasure and not for having children? God forbids that.

“But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he slew him also.” (Genesis 38:9-10)


#17

Actually, Hannah had several other children after Samuel - three sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 2:21).

It is possible to have sex without children resulting from it. I’m guessing that Elizabeth and Sarah weren’t barren because of coitus interruptus. Also, there are several people referred to as Jesus’ brothers in the New Testament. I’m aware of the various Catholic explanations for this. I’m also pretty sure some Protestants would consider them Jesus’ actual brothers, the children of Mary.

I remember reading something somewhere which stated that what made the marriage was indeed the consummation, not the exchange of vows - but I do not have a source for that.


#18

So Luther and Calvin didn’t have that verse in their bibles?


#19

But they were all due to visits by the Lord. They were not “natural conceptions”.

Then Eli would bless Elka’nah and his wife, and say, “The LORD give you children by this woman for the loan which she lent to the LORD”; so then they would return to their home.
And the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters.


#20

Is there any such thing as a natural conception? Some children God specifically causes, and others he doesn’t? I don’t think it quite works like that…In Genesis 29 and 30, God is mentioned as opening and closing Leah’s and Rachel’s wombs - answering their prayers by giving them children.

Hannah was not elderly - she just could not have children. Then God enabled her to have children, as with Rachel and Leah.


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