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The Jewish authorities probably espoused Mary to Joseph as worthy and comparable of her most excellent virtues as a child

2 min • Digitized on February 11, 2022

From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, in file "The Life and Glories of St. Joseph", page 118
By Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.

We have reason to suppose that to many in Judea it must have been known that miraculous circumstances were connected with the birth of Mary; and, if we are to credit in this respect the author of the Book of her Nativity which has been by some attributed to St. Jerome,1 her birth was preceded and followed by many prodigies indicating her surpassing excellence.

What the priests of the Lord had witnessed must have strengthened in their minds, we may well suppose, the impression which may have been produced by such reports.

They must have well remembered how when Mary arrived at the Temple, in age an infant of three years, but mature in grace and dignity, she had ascended the steps of the sacred edifice on the day of her Presentation with the devotion and fervour of a seraph.

Moreover, the life which she had led for eleven or twelve years in this holy retirement was one of such perfection, such regularity, and was so marvellous in its character, as to inspire them with indescribable respect; so much so that some of the Fathers have asserted that she was admitted more than once to worship in the inner portion of the Temple, commonly inhibited to women.

Be this as it may, the admiration excited in the minds of the priests by the sight of her virtues and the cognisance of supernatural facts connected with her life must have made them the more solicitous to select for this heavenly maiden a spouse who might be worthy of her.

1 This book is regarded as apocryphal, and cannot be relied on; nevertheless it may contain true facts, along with doubtful statements and such as do not deserve credit.

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