Prayer Before Reading Our Blog

Come Holy SpiritCome Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Prayer for Enlightenment

O Holy Spirit, divine Spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, my heart and my will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always obedient to Thy heavenly inspirations and the teachings of the holy Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbor; may my will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may my whole life be a faithful following of the life and virtues of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Thee be honor and glory for ever. Amen.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Canon of the Bible

Biblia Sacra: Hebrew, Chaldean, Greek and Latin

All Christians realize that if God has revealed Himself by communicating His will to man, man must be able to know with assurance where that revelation lies. Hence the need for a list (i.e. canon) of books of the Bible. In other words, man needs to know without error (i.e. infallibly) what the books of the Bible are. There must be an authority which will make that decision.
The canon of the Bible refers to the definitive list of the books which are considered to be divine revelation and included therein. A canon distinguishes what is revealed and divine from what is not revealed and human. "Canon" (Greek kanon) means a reed; a straight rod or bar; a measuring stick; something serving to determine, rule, or measure. Because God did not explicitly reveal what books are the inspired books of the Bible, title by title, to anyone, we must look to His guidance in discovering the canon of the Bible.
Jesus has told us that he has not revealed all truths to us.
Jn 16:12-13
I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.
Jesus then told us how he was planning to assist us in knowing other truths.
Jn 14:16-17
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you.
Jn 15:26
When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.
The New Testament writers sensed how they handled truth-bearing under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.
1 Cor 15:3-4
For I handed on (paredoka) to you as of first importance what I also received ...
2 Tim 2:2
And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust (parathou) to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.
There was a constant history of faithful people from Paul's time through the Apostolic and Post Apostolic Church.
Melito, bishop of Sardis, an ancient city of Asia Minor (see Rev 3), c. 170 AD produced the first known Christian attempt at an Old Testament canon. His list maintains the Septuagint order of books but contains only the Old Testament protocanonicals minus the Book of Esther.
The Council of Laodicea, c. 360, produced a list of books similar to today's canon. This was one of the Church's earliest decisions on a canon.
Pope Damasus, 366-384, in his Decree, listed the books of today's canon.
The Council of Rome, 382, was the forum which prompted Pope Damasus' Decree.
Bishop Exuperius of Toulouse wrote to Pope Innocent I in 405 requesting a list of canonical books. Pope Innocent listed the present canon.
The Council of Hippo, a local north Africa council of bishops created the list of the Old and New Testament books in 393 which is the same as the Roman Catholic list today.
The Council of Carthage, a local north Africa council of bishops created the same list of canonical books in 397. This is the council which many Protestant and Evangelical Christians take as the authority for the New Testament canon of books. The Old Testament canon from the same council is identical to Roman Catholic canon today. Another Council of Carthage in 419 offered the same list of canonical books.
Since the Roman Catholic Church does not define truths unless errors abound on the matter, Roman Catholic Christians look to the Council of Florence, an ecumenical council in 1441 for the first definitive list of canonical books.
The final infallible definition of canonical books for Roman Catholic Christians came from the Council of Trent in 1556 in the face of the errors of the Reformers who rejected seven Old Testament books from the canon of scripture to that time.
There was no canon of scripture in the early Church; there was no Bible. The Bible is the book of the Church; she is not the Church of the Bible. It was the Church--her leadership, faithful people--guided by the authority of the Spirit of Truth which discovered the books inspired by God in their writing. The Church did not create the canon; she discerned the canon. Fixed canons of the Old and New Testaments, hence the Bible, were not known much before the end of the 2nd and early 3rd century.
Catholic Christians together with Protestant and Evangelical Christians hold the same canon of the New Testament, 27 books, all having been originally written in the Greek language.
Catholic Christians accept the longer Old Testament canon, 46 books, from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Alexandrian Canon.
Protestant and Evangelical Christians, from the Reformers onward, accept the shorter Old Testament canon, 39 books, from the Hebrew Palestinian Canon. Jews have the same canon as Protestants.
Canonical books are those books which have been acknowledged as belonging to the list of books the Church considers to be inspired and to contain a rule of faith and morals. Some criteria used to determine canonicity were
  • special relation to God, i.e., inspiration;
  • apostolic origin;
  • used in Church services, i.e., used by the community of believers guided by the Holy Spirit.
Other terms for canonical books should be distinguished: the protocanonical books, deuterocanonical books, and the apocryphal books.
The protocanonical (from the Greek proto meaning first) books are those books of the Bible that were admitted into the canon of the Bible with little or no debate (e.g., the Pentateuch of the Old Testament and the Gospels)
The deuterocanonical (from the Greek deutero meaning second) books are those books of the Bible that were under discussion for a while until doubts about their canonicity were resolved (e.g. Sirach and Baruch of the Old Testament, and the Johannine epistles of the New Testament).
The apocryphal (from the Greek apokryphos meaning hidden) books have multiple meanings:
  • complimentary meaning - that the sacred books were too exalted for the general public;
  • pejorative meaning - that the orthodoxy of the books were questioned;
  • heretical meaning - that the books were forbidden to be read; and lastly
  • neutral meaning - simply noncanonical books, the meaning the word has today.
Another word, pseudepigrapha (from the Greek meaning false writing) is used for works clearly considered to be false.

Source:The Canon of the Bible

PURGATORY IN THE BIBLE by Atty. Marwil Llasos

The Souls in Purgatory after their purgation they are led to heaven

Intermediate state: Purgatory. No second chances – the souls there are saved, but through fire (1 Corinthians 3:15)
“There is a purgatory, and the souls there detained are assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, but especially by the most acceptable sacrifice of the altar” (Council of Trent).
This dogmatic definition contains 3 points of faith that all Catholics are required to believe:
1. There is a purgatory
2. After death, souls suffer there for their sins
3. The living can extend assistance to such souls

There is a purgatory
Forgiveness of sin in the next – Matthew 12:32
“Under the earth” – Revelations 5:2-3; Philippians 2:10

After death, souls suffer there for their sins
“You will not come out of it till you pay the last penny” – Matthew 5:26
“Matthean Parallel” (See: Matthew 18:23-35)
“Lazarusian Incident” (See: Luke 16:19-31)
Spirits in prison – 1 Peter 3:18-20; 4:6

The living can extend assistance to such souls
Restrain not grace from the dead – Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 7:37
See: Ruth 1:8
Offerings/Sacrifice for the dead
2 Maccabees 12:38-36
“And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection” (2 Maccabees 12:43, Douay-Rheims Bible).

Fasting for the for the dead
1 Samuel 31:13;
1 Chronicles 10:12
2 Samuel 1:12

Prayer for the dead
2 Maccabees 12:44-46
“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Maccabees 12:46, Douay-Rheims Bible).

See: Nehemiah 1:4-6, cf. Nehemiah 2:5

Understanding Purgatory:
1. Understanding the doctrine of purgatory demands knowing the nature/attributes of God:
God is Holy (Habakkuk 1:13; Isaiah 6:3; Revelations 4:8; Leviticus 11:44
God is Just (1 John 1:9; Revelations 15:3)
God is Merciful (Psalm 116, Lamentations 3:22, Psalm 103:8)
See: Ruth 2:20
God is Love (1 John 4:8, 16)
2. Understanding the doctrine of purgatory demands a proper understanding of the concept of sin:

Gradation (degrees) of sin
Mortal Sin vs. Venial Sin (1 John 5:16-17, NRSV)
Nuestra Señora de Salvacion, ruega por nosotros! Marwil

VIRGINITAS IN PARTU [The Virginity of Mary During the Birth of Jesus] by Atty. Marwil Llasos

Mary and the Child Jesus

This article is originally published in Atty. Marwil Llasos apologetic blog dedicated to the defense of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here is the link to the original site:
I opened my email only yesterday (11 January 2009 – Sunday). It is quite unfortunate that I missed the action – so to speak.
So much ink has been spilled by my post on the issue of Virginitas in Partu. I am grateful to Fr. Abe for calling my post “brilliant.” However, it did not seem to be so to at least a single soul named “Fuschia” (not his real name, to protect his identity. Hereafter, I will rerfer to him as “F” for brevity).

I learned lately that F had already been expelled from this group. I am sad that this had to happen. This extreme disciplinary measure had to be done, after much prayer and discernment, to protect the faith of the other members of the group who may have been scandalized by the clearly heterodox views of F.
While F’s heretical views may be refuted (as have been done by some members of this group, including Fr. A), what I find appalling is his disrespect, if not contempt, to an ordained minister of God. I am referring to F’s unwarranted attacks on Fr. A This we cannot allow.
Man’s “ontological” equality with God?
I have been monitoring F’s post in the past. While I credited him with the benefit of the doubt, I must confess that I was concerned with the novelty – nay, heresy – of his positions. For instance, he claimed that man is “ontologically” equal to God. Well, I may not be a philosopher but I know fully well that such claim is absurd and dead wrong. The claim that man can be equal to God, ontological or otherwise, is nothing but satanic presumption. The view that man can be equal to God was first expressed by the infernal serpent in the Garden of Eden. The tempter hissed: “You shall be like God” (Gen. 3:4). When man believed that canard, look what happened! Indeed, to say that man is equal to God, albeit ontologically, still blurs the distinction between the creature and the Creator. That is simply unacceptable. We cannot repackage the diabolical lie by merely coating it with high-sounding philosophical terminology.

F’s heresies are alarming. First, he denied Mary’s title of Mother of God. That made him a Nestorian heretic. Instead of immediately recanting his Nestorian belief, he tarried until the opposition was already overwhelming. He went at great lengths justifying his proffered formula that Mary should best be called “Mother of Jesus our God” instead of what the Council Fathers decreed at Ephesus : Theotokos. Fortunately, F recanted – grudgingly.
And – ooops, he did again! This time he questioned the in partu virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What disgusted me most was the way in which he justified his denial of this aspect of the dogma of perpetual virginity. As Fr. A ably demonstrated, F went to the extent of falsifying or misrepresenting Ludwig Ott just to lend credence to his clearly erroneous view. For questioning Mary’s perpetual virginity, specifically Mary’s virginity in partu, F is clearly in league with the heresiarch Helvidius.
The decision to expel F from the group is in accord with St. Paul ’s admonition: “He who is a heretic, after a first or second admonition, reject!” (Titus 3:10). F had all the opportunity to retract his errors and retrace his steps, but his pride, I believe, stood in the way. It is not yet too late for him to repent, though. And I ask God to flood F with His grace. I offer my prayers to the Blessed Virgin in reparation for F’s blasphemous remarks against Our Blessed Mother, Virgo Castissima.

Virginitas in partu
Since I was the one who posted an article on Mary’s virginitas in partu, and in effect triggered the maelstrom that followed, I am impelled by what I perceive to be my duty to end the controversy. Allow me to add my two cents worth in this issue.
Prefatorily, I must commend applaud for Fr. A for his spirited and vigorous, yet charitable defense of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He led the defense through completion, almost single-handedly. I wish I was with him. As I said, I missed the action because I just opened my email yesterday. Since I have always considered myself the Knight of Mary, I deem it imperative to answer some of F’s claims since he addresses his post specifically to me and Fr. A However, I will not repeat what Fr. A had already stated.
How many Marian dogmas are there?
All of us are aware that there are only four Marian dogmas. These are –
1. Divine Maternity
2. Perpetual Virginity
3. Immaculate Conception
4. The Assumption
As F would have it, the Mary’s virginitas ante partum, in partu and post partum should be treated as three separate dogmas. So how many Marian dogma’s would there be? 4 + 3 = 7? If F would count the Marian dogmas, it would appear –
1. Divine Maternity
2. Perpetual Virginity
3. Virginitas ante partum
4. Virginitas in partu
5. Virginitas post partum
6. Immaculate Conception
7. The Assumption
Of course, that doesn’t make sense. You and I know that there is such a thing as the proposed Fifth Marian Dogma – Mary as Mediatrix, Co-redemptrix and Advocate of the People of God. If Fuschia is right, then the proposed dogma would be the Eighth.
Levity aside, there are just Four Marian dogmas. Virginitas ante partum, in partu and post partum, while each of which are de fide, are mere components or facets of the dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity. Marian scholar, Msgr. Arthur Burton Calkins states: “It is the Catholic Church’s perennial belief in the three facets of this mystery which immediately touch upon the role of Our Lady that is the specific object fact that she was a virgin before (ante partum), during (in partu) and after the birth of Christ (post partum)” [Msgr. Arthur Burton Calkins, Our Lady’s Perpetual Virginity, in Mariology: A guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons, Mark I. Miravalle, ed. (Goleta: CA, Queenship Publishing, 2007) p. 277]
Understanding virginitas in partu

F’s comments revolved around the difficulty of how Mary’s virginity could remain intact in childbirth. As is F’s wont, he quoted theologians who question, if not assail, Our Blessed Mother’s in partu virginity. All of us are aware of what stripe F’s favorite theologians are – modernists, liberals and materialists. These are the destructive termites in the house of God.
 I wish to state that the dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity is a datum of Divine Revelation; hence, it must be studied using the tools of theology and not gynecology. I mentioned in my previous post that “those who cannot accept Mary’s virginity in partu are thinking in purely human terms. They are trying to explain away the mystery by way of their limited human understanding. They thus rob Divine Revelation of its content.” Then I quoted Isaiah 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
I find it amusing that there are people who have great difficulty in accepting a lesser miracle, i.e., how the Mother of the Savior remained a virgin at childbirth? The greater miracle is how can a virgin be pregnant without the aid of a man? If we can accept the greater miracle, then there is no rhyme or reason why we cannot accept the lesser one. To question how Mary remained a virgin in childbirth is to question the omnipotence of God. “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
Personally, I still grapple with the dogmas and the doctrines of the Church. Nevertheless, I am grateful to the Good Lord for revealing to me through His Church the truths of our holy faith. Oftentimes, the Church merely defines the ultimate truth (for example, Mary is a perpetual virgin before, during and after the birth of her Son Jesus Christ) without giving us the details. When Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption, he merely said that at the completion of her earthly life, the Blessed Virgin was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory without settling the question of whether or not the Blessed Mother died. The Church tells us what without telling us how.
The Incarnation, the Virgin Birth and Mary’s perpetual virginity, are God’s initiative, not man’s. These are spiritual things that are spiritually discerned. The Apostle Paul reminds us: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural (sensual) man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:12-14, NKJV). Notice that only the natural (or the sensual) man that do not receive the things of the Spirit. Tell that to the Modernists and Liberals.
Indeed, God’s truths would always remain a mystery for us. Confronted with these sublime and saving truths, I couldn’t help it but be awed and prostrate myself to thank and worship the God who reveals them.

The late Holy Father John Paul II the Great says in his discourse at Capua on May 24, 1992 –
The theologian must approach the mystery of Mary’s fruitful virginity with a deep sense of veneration for God’s free, holy and sovereign action. Reading through the writings of the holy Fathers and the liturgical texts we notice that few of the saving mysteries have caused so much amazement, admiration or praise as the Incarnation of God’s Son in Mary’s virginal womb.

The theologian, however, who approaches the mystery of Mary’s virginity with a heart full of faith and adoring respect, does not thereby forego the duty of studying the data of Revelation and showing their harmony and interrelationship; rather, following the Spirit … he puts himself in the great and fruitful theological tradition of fides querens intellectum.
When theological reflection becomes a moment of doxology and latria, the mystery of Mary’s virginity is disclosed, allowing one to catch a glimpse of other aspects and other depths” [AAS 85 (1993) 664, quoted in Msgr. Arthur Burton Calkins, Our Lady’s Perpetual Virginity, in Mariology: A guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons, Mark I. Miravalle, ed. (Goleta: CA, Queenship Publishing, 2007) p. 282].

Biblical texts
In my post on the virginitas in partu, I cited prophetic text of Isaiah 7:14 and its fulfillment text in Matthew 1:23: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” I contented that these texts clearly prove not only Mary’s ante partum virginity but also her in partu virginity. I concluded that these verses – a prophetic text and a fulfillment text – tell us that the virgin shall be a virgin not only in conceiving her child but also a virgin in giving birth to her son.
F, citing his usual sources, concluded that there are no explicit nor implicit verses to support Mary’s in partu virginity! I will let Mariologist Dr. Mark Miravalle answer that point –

“Scripture implicitly affirms Mary’s virgin birthing of Our Lord in the great prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. The prophecy foretells that a virgin, beyond conceiving, will also bear a Son as a virgin: “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son.” Therefore, it is not only a virgin’s conception, but also a virgin birth alluded to in Isaiah 7:14” [Mark I. Miravalle, Introduction to Mary ( Goleta , CA : Queenship Publishing, 2006) p. 58].
Church Fathers
Without shred of proof, F further contended that no Church Father ever cited the Bible verses I mentioned.
Justin Martyr, as far as I know, is a Church Father. In his Dialogue with Trypho, he discussed Isaiah 7:14 to defend the Virgin Birth.
I also cited John 1:13 using the alternative rendering footnoted in the New Jerusalem Bible in relation to Mary’s virginity in partu. “Who was born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God Himself.” Exegete and Marian scholar Ignace de la Potterie, S.J., rendered it –
He is born not of blood(s),
nor of the will of the flesh
nor of the will of man,
but he was begotten of God.
[See Ignace de la Potterie, Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant (Staten Island, NY: St. Paul’s, 1992) p. 136].
De la Potterie, following the doctoral thesis of Peter Horftrichter, sees a scriptural indication for John 1:13 (above) for the virginitas in partu, the virginity of the birthing of Jesus. De la Potterie proved his rendering of John 1:13 by pointing out that “all the texts from the second century witnessing to our passage have the singular. An in addition, it is interesting to notice that all these witnesses, when they are localized geographically, are not concentrated in one area, but are diffused over the Mediterranean basin: in Asia Minor, most likely in Palestine (Justin), at Rome (Hippolytus), in Gaul (Irenaeus), in Northern Africa (Tertullian), and at Alexandria in Egypt. That is a very important fact because it demonstrates that it demonstrates that in the second century, during a time in which rapid means of communication did not yet exist, this text was universally read only in the singular. And this within one century of the composition of the Fourth Gospel!” [Ignace de la Potterie, Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant (Staten Island, NY: St. Paul’s, 1992) p. 137].
De la Potterie, following the doctoral thesis of, Peter Horftrichter argues that “in several Old Testament texts and later in Jewish tradition, the word “blood” also used in the plural for the loss of blood which is linked with a woman’s period; that is with menstruation and childbirth, hence of a birth.” Thus, “in the context for the laws of purification it signifies that Jesus, in being born, did not cause an effusion of blood in his mother; in other words, at the birth of Jesus there would not have taken place any shedding of blood. There would then be here a scriptural indication for what the theologians have in mind when they speak of the “virginitas in partu,” the virginity of the birthing of Jesus” [Ignace de la Potterie, Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant (Staten Island, NY: St. Paul’s, 1992) p. 148-149].
To deny the dogma of perpetual virginity of Mary in any of its components or facets makes one a heretic which incurs the penalty of latae sententiae excommunication.
To the early Church Fathers the contrary doctrine was called “madness and blasphemy” (Gennadius, De dogm. eccl., lxix), “madness” (Origen, in Luc., h, vii), “sacrilege” (St. Ambrose, De instit. virg., V, xxxv), “impiety and smacking of atheism” (Philostorgius, VI, 2), “perfidy” (St. Bede, hom. v, and xxii), “perfidy of the Jews” (Pope Siricius, ep. ix, 3), and “heresy” (St. Augustine, De Hær. h., lvi).
St. Jerome had the most colorful words for the opponents of Mary’s perpetual virginity: “I was requested by certain of the brethren not long ago to reply to a pamphlet written by one Helvidius. I have deferred doing so, not because it is a difficult matter to maintain the truth and refute an ignorant boor who has scarcely known the first glimmer of learning, but because I was afraid my reply might make him appear worth defending!” (Adversus Helvidium). If St. Jerome were still alive and would write a treatise against F and his theologians, I wonder if he would also call each of them an “ignorant boor.” Without meaning to offend our dear brother F, I was just wondering…
I wish to end by pointing to the lot of A. Mitterer, the theologian quoted by F with gusto. Dr. Albert Mitterer’s 1952 study Dogma und Biologie which questioned Our Lady’s physical integrity and the absence of pain resulted in a monitum issued by the Holy Office (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) stating that “theological works are being published in which the delicate question of Mary’s virginity in partu is treated with a deplorable crudeness of expression and, what is more serious, in flagrant contradiction to the doctrinal tradition of the Church and to the sense of respect the faithful have” and thus prohibiting the publication of such dissertation in the future. Mitterer’s work is condemned!
Fuschia can opt to stay on the side of Helvidius, or of Mitterer and his favorite theologians. We at apologia should stay on the side of Our Holy Mother the Church. As defenders of the faith, we can do no less. We should be part of the solution, not the problem.
The Church understands Mary’s virginity during the birth of Christ as an absence of any physical injury or violation to Mary’s virginal seal through a special divine action of the all-powerful God. This divine act would safeguard Mary’s physical virginity which is both a symbol and part of her perfect, overall virginity; a virginity both internal and external, of soul and of body.
The Fathers of the Church overwhelmingly taught the “miraculous birth” of Jesus that resulted in no injury to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s physical integrity. St. Augustine stated that “it is not right that He who came to heal corruption should by His advent violate integrity” (Sermo 189, No. 2; PL 38, 1005).
Doctors of the Church like St. Thomas Aquinas defended the miraculous and painless nature of Christ’s birth (ST, III, Q. 28, a. 2).
The Magisterium of the Church teaches it in no unmistakable terms. Pope St. Leo the Great in his famous Tome to Flavian made it clear that Mary’s physical virginity was protected in the process of the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ: “Mary brought Him forth, with her virginity untouched, as with her virginity untouched she conceived Him” (Enchiridium Patristicum 2182).
Pope Paul IV, in Cum quorumdam hominum, admonished all who deny that the Blessed Virgin Mary “did not retain her virginity intact before the birth, in the birth, and perpetually after the birth.”
The Roman Catechism (Catechism of the Council of Trent) continued the succession of papal and conciliar teaching on how Jesus was born without injuring Our Lady’s virginity and without any experience of pain: 
For in a way wonderful beyond expression or conception, He is born of His Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity. As he afterwards went forth from the sepulcher while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which his disciples were assembled, although “the doors were closed” (Jn. 20:19), or, not to depart from natural events which we witness every day, as the rays of the sun penetrate the substance of glass without breaking or injuring it in the least: so, but in a more incomprehensible manner, did Jesus Christ come forth from His Mother’s womb without injury to her maternal virginity…
To Eve it was said: “in pain you shall bring forth children” (Gen/ 3:16). Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate, she brought forth Jesus the Son of God, without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain.”
Vatican II reiterates the traditional teaching of the Church: “This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception … then also at the birth of Our Lord, who did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it … (LG, No. 57).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clarifies that “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” (CCC No. 499).
I end this rejoinder with a prayer I borrow from St. Jerome , the great defender of Mary’s perpetual virginity:
I must call upon the Holy Spirit to express His meaning by my mouth and defend the virginity of the Blessed Mary. I must call upon the Lord Jesus to guard the sacred lodging of the womb in which He abode for ten months from all suspicion of sexual intercourse. And I must also entreat God the Father to show that the mother of His Son, who was mother before she was a bride, continued a Virgin after her Son was born” ( St. Jerome , De perpetua virginitate Beatae Mariae adversus Helvidium. Migne, Patrology, PL 23, 183-206).
Santa Virgen de las virgenes, ruega por nosotros!
Madre purisima, ruega por nosotros!
Madre castisima, ruega por nosotros!
Madre virginal, ruega por nosotros!
Madre sin mancha, ruega por nosotros!
Madre inmaculada, ruega por nosotros!
Ave Maria purisima, sin pecado concebida!
Viva Jesus y Maria!
Viva la Virgen!
Viva Señor San Jose!