Virgin Mary full of the Holy Spirit by Jerome

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“… With the exception of Joseph, Elizabeth, Mary herself, and a few others who heard from them how things stood, everyone thought that Jesus was the son of Joseph, so that even the evangelists, wishing to express the opinion of the people (which is the purpose of true history), called Joseph the Savior’s father, as in the following passages: “Inspired by the Spirit, [Simeon] came to the temple, and when his parents brought the child Jesus to fulfill the law?” (Luke 2:27).
And elsewhere: “His father and his mother were amazed at what was being said about him” (Luke 2:33). And again: “His parents went every year to Jerusalem for the Passover festival” (Luke 2:41). Again: “When the days of the festival were over, they began their journey home, while the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem without his parents noticing (Luke 2:43). Listen to what Mary herself says about Joseph, she who had answered Gabriel by saying “How will this happen to me since I do not know man?” (Luke 1:34): “Son, why have you done this o us? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously” (Luke 2:48).

These pronouncements are not made in the style of the Jews; not, that is, of a people who are joking, as many would argue. The evangelists call Joseph his father; Mary also calls him father. Not because, as I have said above, Joseph was the true father of the Savior, but because everyone believed him to be his father, in order to safeguard Mary’s good reputation.”

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

Amazingly God prepares for the arrival of His Son. He puts a perfect plan to protect His mother. God’s work cannot be stopped. Indeed if God does not build the house, the builders labour in vain.

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.

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