Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Mary-"ever-virgin"

499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. 154 In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it." 155 And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin". 156

500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. 157 The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary". 158 They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression. 159

501 Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother's love." 160

Notes:

154 Cf. DS 291; 294; 427; 442; 503; 571; 1880.

155 LG 57.

156 Cf. LG 52.

157 Cf. Mk 3:31-35; 6:3; I Cor 9:5; Gal 1:19.

158 Mt 13:55; 28:1; cf. Mt 27:56.

159 Cf. Gen 13:8; 14:16; 29:15; etc.

160 LG 63; cf. Jn 19:26-27; Rom 8:29; Rev 12:17.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Introducing the Church Fathers 13 hours ago
Straws in the Wind July 25
Hans Urs von Balthasar on Renewal that Matters July 25
Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases July 24
New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity July 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21