How St. Joseph “Know” Mary by Hilary of Poitiers

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St. Matthew in his gospel says about Joseph:

“and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.”

(Matthew 1:25).

St. Hilary comments:

“So that no ambiguity should arise about his birth, Joseph himself was chosen as a witness to the fact that Christ was conceived by the working of the Holy Spirit. Since Mary was his espoused wife, he receives her as his wife. Thus the expression “He knew her after the birth” means that Mary receives the title of wife. The text, then, asserts that he knew her, not that he was joined to her.”

Hilary of Poitiers , In Matthaeum 1, 3; PL 9, 921.

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.

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