18. Mary: Perpetual Virgin

Catholic Position

¶510 Mary “remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving
birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her
breast, always a virgin” (St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999):
with her whole being she is “the handmaid of the Lord” (Lk 1:38).

¶499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church
to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of
giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did
not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so
the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the

Scripture Says

Matthew 13:55
55  Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called
Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

Mark 6:3
3  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of
James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here
with us? And they were offended at him.

Galatians 1:19
19  But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.


  • If not from scripture, where did the idea of a perpetual virgin arise?
  • Why is this doctrine so important to Catholicism?