Why was the Virgin engaged? by Jerome

“If anyone is confused by the fact that the Virgin conceived when she was an engaged woman, and not as a maiden who had no fiancé and was not married, as the Scripture says, let him know that there are three reasons for this. First, through the genealogy of Joseph, to whom Mary was related [by marriage], her ancestry is also revealed. The second reason was so that she would not be stoned by the people as an adulteress, according to the law of Moses. The third reason is so that, during the flight to Egypt, she would have the comfort of a guardian rather than a husband.

In that circumstance, indeed, who would ever have believed the Virgin if she had said that she conceived by the power of the Spirit and that the angel Gabriel had come to communicate God’s will to her? Instead, everyone would have condemned her as an adulteress, as they did with Susanna, just as today, when the whole world believes, the Jews still claim that in the prophecy of Isaiah, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Is 7:14), the Hebrew text has the word “young woman” instead of “virgin”, that is, ” ‘almah ” instead of “bethllah”. But against them, we will speak more effectively elsewhere.”

Jerome, De virginitate perpetua beatae Mariae adversus Helvidium 4; PL 23, 187-88

God protects his people. In his divine economy, He made sure that Our Lady was safe being in the Jewish society. Ever since the world was created and God works in humanity to bring forth His salvation.

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 Kindle and paperback formats.


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

4 thoughts on “Why was the Virgin engaged? by Jerome

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  1. Reading St Augustine “City of God” again – the last 4+- books (on the End Times) – I find so many references to the differences in the Jewish Holy Books and our Sacred Scripture – like all heretics, so much has either been edited, removed altogether (when it does not agree with my/our sin) or retranslated.
    This makes it easier to understand why the Jews condemned Our Lord Jesus Christ to death and why they are still waiting for the Christ!


    1. I think I understand what you mean. Can you elaborate on what you mean by “This makes it easier to understand why the Jews condemned Our Lord Jesus Christ to death and why they are still waiting for the Christ!” ? regards

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you are taught from your youth that we are the Chosen and the Lord will grant us everything right here, in this world, if we obey His commandments, then, when this upstart (Jesus Christ) comes along and turns all that upside down – what do you think you would prefer – HAVING it all now (prosperity bible) or waiting – especially, if we believe NOT in the resurrection of the body?!?
    So get rid of this upstart and He will soon be forgotten and we can carry on waiting for the one who will agree with us..
    Only that did not happen.


    1. Hi, thank you for your post, Sorry, it took me a while to get back to you.
      There are a few terms I am not sure what you mean by them, e.g prosperity bible, upstart. I was taught (and believe) that God did not create people so they die. He created man in His image to live in communion with Him. In the Old Testament God Chose
      people (the Israelites) so other nations would know Him. He accepted those who chose to live according to the commandments he gave to His people. Everybody is called to live and commune with God, it is up to those who accept this invitation.
      If we disobey His commandments, we will die as a natural consequence.
      Regarding the kingdom of God, Jesus said the Kingdom of God is at hand. So, we start living in the kingdom here. But to live in the kingdom we struggle and walk through the narrow gate.
      God bless


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