Did Mary make a vow for virginity? by Gregory of Nyssa

“ What is Mary’s response? Listen to the voice of the pure Virgin. The angel brings the glad tidings of childbearing, but she is concerned with virginity and holds that her integrity should come before the angelic message. She does not refuse to believe the angel; neither does she move away from her convictions. She says: I have given up any contact with man.

“How will this happen to me, since I do not know man?” (Lk 1:34). Mary’s own words confirm certain apocryphal traditions. For if Joseph had taken her to be his wife, for the purpose of having children, why would she have wondered at the announcement of maternity, since she herself would have accepted becoming a mother according to the law of nature?

But just as it was necessary to guard the body consecrated to God as an untouched and holy offering, for this same reason, she states, even if you are an angel come down from heaven and even if this phenomenon is beyond man’s abilities, yet it is impossible for me to know man. How shall I become a mother without [knowing] man? For though I consider Joseph to be my husband, still I do not know man.”

Gregory of Nyssa , On the Birth of Christ, PG 46, 1140 C-1141 A.

If you are interested in more quotes on Virgin Mary, you can find them in Mary and the Fathers of the Church on Amazon in both in Kindle and paperback formats.



Gambero, L., 1999. Mary and the Fathers of the Church 1st ed. Translated by Buffer, T., San Francisco: Ignatius Press. p. 157.

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