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Was St. Joseph a virgin or a widower with children?


Can you tell me if the Church teaches that Joseph was a virgin, or was he a widower with children who was quite older than Mary?


An early tradition has it that Joseph was a widower who married the Virgin Mary later in life (after already having a family with his first wife). A later tradition says that Joseph was a virgin and that the “brothers” of Jesus were other relatives, perhaps cousins. Because we simply don’t know, Catholics are free to believe either tradition. All that is required of us to believe is that Mary remained a perpetual virgin, including throughout her marriage to Joseph.

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