Mary and Joseph probably knew about each other’s vow of virginity before being espoused

February 17, 2022 • 1 min

From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, in file "The Life and Glories of St. Joseph", page 126
By Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.

What were the feelings of the humble Joseph when he found himself divinely singled out in preference to all these youths of far higher worldly pretensions, and for an honour of which he believed himself unworthy, it would not be easy to realise. We must be humble like him to conceive how abashed and confounded he stood before the assembly.

Yet for one thing, we may be sure, he returned fervent thanks to God in his heart; he knew that, if called to embrace the married state, in espousing Mary his promise of keeping his virginity was safe.

We have the authority of a great saint for believing this, that of St. Bridget, to whom our Lady said: “Regard it as most certain that Joseph, before being espoused to me, knew by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that I had made a vow of virginity”.*

St. Thomas, also, enquiring how it was that Mary consented to be espoused to Joseph when she had made a vow of virginity, thus replies to his own question: "The Blessed Virgin, before contracting marriage with Joseph, was certified by God that he had formed a similar resolve, and therefore that she exposed herself to no risk in espousing him ".*

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