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The Busted Halo Question Box
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This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

How did they know Mary was a virgin for sure?

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Answers:

The belief that a virgin could conceive a child is an unusual idea, to say the least.  You’re not alone in wondering whether it could really happen.

Both Matthew and Luke make a point of explicitly stating Mary’s virginity. Some writers get more graphic:  the early Christian text the Protoevangelium of James (around A.D. 150) includes a memorable scene where a woman physically verifies Mary’s virginity, right after Christ’s birth.  Obviously, this text doesn’t have the authority of Scripture, but I mention it to show that early Christians were also interested in “proof” of Mary’s virginal state.

The bottom line is that we’ll never have the physical verification of Mary’s virginity.  We just have to trust that God could and did make it happen.  As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:  “The gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility.” (CCC 497) It surpasses our attempts to prove it, too.  Like many of our religious beliefs, it’s something we just have to take on faith.

 
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The Author : Ginny Kubitz Moyer
Ginny Kubitz Moyer is the author of the award-winning book Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at randomactsofmomness.com.
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