Question: How long did Mary remain a virgin?
Answer: The Church since the early centuries of Christianity has believed in Mary’s “perpetual virginity,” i.e. Mary remained a virgin before, during and after Jesus’ birth. This doctrine thus proclaims that Mary had no marital relations after the birth of Jesus nor gave birth to any other children that Jesus. While the Bible mentions “brothers of Jesus,” Catholic, Orthodox and some traditional Protestant interpretations explain that these siblings were either children of Joseph by a previous marriage (hence, the usual portrayal of Joseph as an older man), cousins of Jesus (all relatives in his time were typically dubbed as brothers and sisters), or were closely associated with the Holy Family. By the 4th century, the doctrine was widely supported by the Church Fathers and by the 4th century it had been affirmed on a number of ecumenical councils. This doctrine is part of the teaching of Catholicism, Anglicans, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, some Lutherans and Methodists. Keep the questions for Fr. Jim coming! ~Love in Him, , Fr. Jim