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God rewarded the purity, humility, and virginity of Joseph and Mary by letting them become the parents of the Messiah

3 min • Digitized on March 19, 2022

#Humility #Joseph #Mary #Purity #Virginity

From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, in file "The Life and Glories of St. Joseph", page 164
By Edward Healy Thompson, M.A.


The Lord meanwhile was preparing for both of these holy spouses a high destiny, a grace and a dignity never conceded to any creature, earthly or heavenly.

By the express command of God they had contracted holy matrimony in the presence of the priests of the Temple, and by His inspiration and movement had, immediately after their marriage, made a vow of perpetual, virginity.

But such a vow was a thing quite new, and the virtue of virginity itself was almost unknown to this carnal people. Mary and Joseph, in their humility, would hide from profane eyes this heavenly virtue under the veil of marriage.

Nevertheless, they must have known that they would thus incur in the eyes of the vulgar the opprobrium of sterility. But what of that? So great was their love and devotion to virginity that they made no account of the disgrace, as it was reckoned, of infecundity, and cared not for the reproach it would bring upon them.

God, however, who loves virginity and humility, did not will that this reproach should lie upon them, but purposed to reward their fidelity to these virtues in a wonderful manner.

Others hastened to contract marriage, at the sacrifice of their virginity, with the hope of having the Messias born of their race, while these two holy spouses, on the contrary, had made a vow of perpetual virginity, reputing themselves unworthy of that honour; and lo! it was they to whom the Messias should be given without loss of their angelic purity.

They had hidden it, heedless of what men would think on beholding them childless. But God delivered the humble from the contempt of the proud, and to these virgin spouses divinely conceded a Son, the fairest and the most exalted among the children of men.

Oh, how good is the Most High God to the upright in heart! How gracious towards those who are truly humble! Mary and Joseph knew from the prophets that the time for the birth of the Messias was at hand, and that He was to be born of the tribe of Juda, and of the house of David, in the city of Bethlehem; and, being themselves of that tribe and house, they forego by their vow all possibility of being themselves the happy progenitors, and conceal themselves in one of the obscure villages of Galilee.

But, precisely because they have such a lowly esteem of themselves, God follows them, God singles them out, and exalts them, bestowing on their virginal purity that same Messias of whom they considered themselves so unworthy, Him who had been the desire of all the mothers in Sion, and of so many patriarchs and kings; in fine, the desire of the whole universe.

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