St. Joseph’s doubt, duty and revelation by Basil of Caesarea

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“ “Before they came to live together, she was found with child by the working of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1:18). Joseph found both things: both the conception and its cause, namely, the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, fearing to be called the husband of such a woman, he “wanted to send her away quietly” (Mt 1:19), not daring to make public what had happened to her.

But being just, it was his lot to have mysteries revealed to him. For “while he was thinking of these things, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying: Do not fear to take Mary as your wife’” (Mt 1:20). You should not have thought it necessary to conceal a fault from wicked and suspicious people. For you have been called just: it would not be the action of a just man to pass over sins in silence. “Do not fear to take Mary as your wife.”

Joseph showed that he had not disdained her, nor had he showed disgust at her, but that he feared because she was full of the Holy Spirit. “That which is born in her is the work of the Holy Spirit” (ibid.).”

Basil of Caesarea, Basil, On the Holy Generation of Christ 4; PG 31, 1464 C-1465 A.

I am amazed at St. Joseph’s attitude to the unknown pregnancy of his betrothed. I agree with St. Basil, his heart was merciful, and humble that he accepted willingly what he heard from the angel. Are you merciful and compassionate as St. joseph.

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. 150.

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