Why Mary Must Be Betrothed to Joseph

As to why he wished to be conceived and born not of a simple virgin but of one who was betrothed to a man, several of the Fathers have put forward reasonable answers. The best of these is to prevent her from being condemned as guilty of defilement if she were to bear a son when she had no husband. Then too, in the things the care of a home naturally demands, the woman in labor would be sustained by a husband’s care. Therefore blessed Mary had to have a husband who would be both a perfectly sure witness to her integrity and a completely trustworthy foster father for our Lord and Savior, who was born of her. He was a husband who would, in accordance with the law, make sacrificial offerings to the temple for him when he was an infant. He would take him, along with his mother, to Egypt when persecution threatened. He would bring him back and would minister to the many other needs consequent on the weakness of the humanity that he had assumed. It did no great harm if, for a time, some believed that he was Joseph’s son, since from the apostles’ preaching after his ascension it would be plainly evident to all believers that he had been born of a virgin.

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