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The marriage of Joseph and Mary was intended to hide their virginity until the appointed time

2 min • Digitized on March 8, 2022

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From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, in file "The Life and Glories of St. Joseph", page 149
By Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.

Nor let it be objected that this marriage of Mary and Joseph tended to hide and veil from men the virginity of Mary, since this was the one chief object and desire of these two holy spouses; that is, while jealously guarding and cultivating virginity, to withdraw it from the observation of men and from their esteem, hiding it through humility under the veil of matrimony, that they might not be regarded as singular.

Let us listen again to St. Francis de Sales speaking of St. Joseph, and what he says applies with still greater force to Mary: “Joseph was very specially careful to keep the precious pearl of his virginity concealed; for this reason he consented to bind himself in marriage, so that no one should come to know it, and that under the shelter of marriage he might live concealed. Whereby virgins, both men and women, who desire to live in chastity are instructed that it is not sufficient to be virgins, but they must also be humble.”

The virginity of Mary, according to the Divine counsels, was to remain concealed until the preaching of Christ, which was to manifest His Divinity; and until that time arrived, Joseph, like the veil of the Temple, was to hide from the profane the Holy of Holies; but, the propitious moment being come, the mysterious veil was withdrawn, and the virginity of Mary was displayed in all its splendour. It was proclaimed by Apostles, declared by Evangelists, and thenceforth glorified throughout the world by holy doctors.

And, along with the virginity of Mary, the virginity of Joseph began by degrees to shine forth also, so that no one can say that the reality of the marriage between Mary and Joseph can in any way have effaced or obscured the belief of their stainless purity. That thought can only arise in the minds of carnal men, who (as the Apostle tells us [1 Cor. ii. 14.]) discern not the things that are of the Spirit of God.

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