Matthew 1:25,

And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS,

has long been a subject of discussion on Christianity StackExchange. Views of denominations on "What happened thereafter to the Virgin" differ from one another. The pivotal issue is whether the Blessed Mother of Jesus remained a virgin before and after the Nativity. One is however, inclined to think out-of-box. Does Matthew 1:25 relate more to the manliness of St Joseph than to the virginity of Mary? Some of the reasons are as follows:

  1. Everyone knows that an already pregnant woman cannot be impregnated again.
  2. Joseph was not an impotent person specially chosen to be the Guardian of Mary and her child. He was man enough to beget children for himself, but did not do so, by sublimating his desires.
  3. Joseph and Mary did not have children of their own, as is established by Jesus entrusting the care of Mary to disciple John at the Cross.
  4. Mary proved her ability to become a mother, and Joseph was her legally wedded husband to the public eye.
  5. To those who knew of the Virgin Birth, some testimony was required with respect to (2) above.

Hence the statement at Mt. 1:25. My question therefore is: Was Mt. 1:25 intended to be a testimony to St Joseph' s manliness rather than to St Mary' s virginity? Perspectives of scholars from any denomination are welcome.

  • Thanks, Geremia, for the meaningful editing, and for the resourceful answer. Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


St. Joseph certainly displayed manly self-control and chastity by remaining a virgin.

thought that St. Joseph was

la cause efficiente quoique négative et par abstention
the efficient cause, albeit negative and by abstention

of Our Lady's conceiving Jesus by the Holy Ghost.


for how the title "Joseph, virginal father of Jesus" is, as Llamera, O.P., ibid. writes, "true and, without doubt, the most sublime and exact of all the titles which have been given the holy Patriarch." Also,

St. Pius X approved and indulgenced the ejaculation: “O Joseph, virginal father of Jesus!”74

74. AAS 40 (1906), 59.

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