Why did God choose an “engaged” virgin? by Origen

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“I ask myself why God, after having decided that the Lord was to be born of a virgin, did not choose a young woman without a fiance, but instead chose [Mary], who was already engaged. If I am not mistaken, the reason is this: the Lord had to be born of a virgin who was not only engaged to be married but also, as Matthew writes, already entrusted to the care of a man (who had not yet known her, however), to avoid any disgrace to the virgin, should she be seen with a swollen belly. On this subject, I have found a fine observation in a letter of the martyr of Ignatius, the second bishop of Antioch after Peter, who fought with the wild beasts during the persecution in Rome. Mary’s virginity was hidden from the prince of this world, hidden thanks to Joseph and her marriage to him. Her virginity was kept hidden because she was thought to be married.” 

Origen, Homilies on Luke 6; 3-4; PG 13, 1814-15; SC 87, 144-46

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.76

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