Catholic Dictionary




The revealed dogma that the Mother of Jesus conceived without carnal intercourse, gave birth to Christ without injury to her virginity, and remained a virgin all her life. The Church's faith in Mary's virginal conception of Christ is expressed in all the creeds. Mary's virginal conception was already foretold in the Old Testament by Isaiah in the famous Emmanuel prophecy: "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). Mary's virginity includes virginity of mind, i.e., constant virginal disposition of soul; virginity of the sense, i.e., freedom from inordinate motions of sexual desire; and virginity of body, or physical integrity. The Church's doctrine refers primarily to her bodily integrity.