Choose a topic from Part 3a:

29. The Espousals of Mary

1. Scripture says (Luke 1:27) that the angel Gabriel wassent to "a virgin espoused to a man named Joseph." It issuitable that Christ was born of an espoused virgin, and this forhis own sake, for Mary's sake, and for our sake. (a) Forhis own sake: lest he be thought illegitimate; so that hisgenealogy might be traced through a male line; so that, as anewborn child, he might have a proper protector; so that hismiraculous birth might be hidden from the devil. (b) ForMary's sake: lest she be stoned as an adulteress; lest shebe subjected to ill fame; so that she might have the loving andholy aid of St. Joseph. (c) For our sake: because St.Joseph bears witness to us that Christ is born of a virgin; becauseMary's claim to virginity is at once rendered credible (for, ifshe were unespoused, it might seem that her claim was to coversin); because Mary typifies the virginal Church which is espousedto Christ.

2. The espousals of Mary and Joseph constituted a truemarriage. The essence of a marriage is an inseparable union ofsouls, even if this union is never brought to carnal use orfruitfulness. Scripture calls St. Joseph the husband of Mary, andcalls Mary the wife of Joseph (Matt. 1:19, 20). Therefore, Mary andJoseph were truly man and wife; they were truly married.

"We must not be behind time in doing good; for death will not be behind his time. "
St Phillip Neri

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"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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