"For in the case of Zachary the matter of his disbelief was not any such inequality of condition, but his advanced age, etc.... It is evident, then, that Mary in saying, How shall this be done, because I know not man? had no doubt as to the fact, but inquired as to the manner of the fact. Indeed, it is plain she believed that it was to be done, from her asking how it should be done. And hence she merited to hear: Blessed art thou that didst believe. Yea, verily blessed was she, surpassing the priest as she did: for whereas the priest denied, the Virgin corrected the error. There is no marvel that the Lord, when about to redeem the world, began His work with Mary; so that she, by whom salvation was being prepared for all, might be the first to receive the fruit of salvation as a pledge. *

"Rightly, I repeat, did Mary inquire how it would be done; for, though she had read that a Virgin should bring forth -- she had read, as I have said, Behold a Virgin shall receive in her womb ** -- yet how she should receive, the Angel is the first to announce in the Gospel." ***

"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, etc. **** Without doubt the Holy Ghost also is to be adored, since He is adored, who was born, according to the flesh, of the Holy Ghost. But let no one grant this to the Virgin Mary. Mary was the temple of God, not the God of the temple. He alone therefore is to be adored, who was operating in the temple." *****


"Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately." -- Matt. i. 19.

"...It was a prescription of the Law, that not only the guilty, but those also privy to crimes, were guilty of sin. How then could Joseph if he concealed his wife's crime, be described as a just man? But here precisely is Mary's testimony; viz., that Joseph knowing her chastity; and in wonder at (admirans) what had taken place, conceals in silence that, the mystery of which he knows not."******

Luke i. 26-29.

"Let her [Laeta's daughter] imitate Mary, whom Gabriel found alone in her cell. And this was perhaps why she was troubled with fear, because she saw there what appeared to be a man, a sight to which she was unaccustomed. Let her strive to resemble her of whom it is written: All the glory of the daughter of the King is from within. ******* May she too, wounded with the dart of charity, be able to say to her Beloved: The King hath brought me into His chamber. ******** May she never wander abroad; lest they that go about the city strike and wound her, and strip her of the delicate mantle of modesty, and leave her naked in blood."

* Ex pignore is perhaps more correctly rendered: from her Pledge, i.e., her Child.

** Is. vii. 14.

*** Expos. in Luc. in loc.

**** Luke i. 35.

***** De Spiritu Sancto, Lib. iii. cap. xi. 79, 80.

****** Commentar. in Matt. in loc.

****** Ps. xliv. 14.

****** Cant. i. 3; ii. 4.


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