The Enclosed Garden: Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

Chapter 9 of Mother of God by Fr. Cyril Bernard Papali O.C.D.

Read the other chapters here.

And the Lord said to me: this gate shall be shut. It shall not be opened and no man shall pass through it; because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it. And it shall be shut for the Prince.” (Ezech. XLIV, 2, 3.)


The Divine Maternity is a multiple mystery. It is not only the miracle of a creature becoming the Mother of God, but of a Virgin becoming mother and remaining ever Virgin. The greatest miracle of all was a meeting of extremes, the paradox of a God becoming a creature without ceasing to be God. The next greatest was an imitation and counterpart of the first, a Virgin becoming God’s Mother without ceasing to be a Virgin. And this miraculous virginity has been singled out by God Himself to be the stupendous sign with which to convert an unbelieving race. This is the most characteristic message of Isaias the proto-Evangelist: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son; and His name shall be called Emmanuel.”[1] The prophet leaves no room for misunderstanding. It is a virgin who conceives and a virgin who bears a Son. It makes no sense unless taken in its entirety, in sensu composito as the philosophers put it. How could it be such a stupendous sign, asks St. Justin, if she were only a virgin till she conceived, which is just what all young mothers are.[2] But in Mary her Divine Maternity and miraculous virginity unite as inseparable counterparts of each other. “O, most holy Handmaid and Mother of the Word,” says the Gothic Breviary, “whose child-birth proves her to be Virgin and whose virginity demonstrates her to be Mother.”[3]

The virgin-birth holds an important place in the plan of God’s Incarnation. The very dignity of the Incarnate Word demands that His temporal generation from a human Mother resemble in some manner His eternal origin from the bosom of God the Father. It was absolutely unbecoming that the Son of the Heavenly Father should have an earthly father as well. In His eternal origin He is Light from the Light; in his temporal origin He cannot be far otherwise, He is Light from the Star. “As the star sends forth its rays without impairing itself,” says St. Bernard, “so, without losing her integrity, the Virgin brought forth the Son. Neither do the rays diminish the brightness of the star, nor the Son the integrity of the Virgin.”[4] In the preternatural origin of the first Adam the Fathers recognise a type of the miraculous birth of Christ the Second Adam. Thus wrote St. Ignatius: “The body of Adam was formed from the four elements, that of Eve from the side of Adam; and the body of the Lord in a most admirable and unusual manner from the Virgin alone. Not that legitimate conjugal union is condemned, but this manner of birth is becoming to God. It behoved that God the maker of all things be born, not in the ordinary way, but in the most extraordinary and miraculous way.”[5] And this virgin-birth is a clear proof of His Divinity. “Have you seen this marvel surpassing all nature and effected by God’s power alone?” asks St. Theodore of Ancyra. “Did you see the Word of God born in a manner beyond the reach of reason? It is clear that He who is born is the Word of God, because His birth did not destroy virginity. One who bears simple flesh thereby ceases to be a virgin; but the Word of God born in the flesh preserved the virginity of His Mother, thereby proving Himself to be the Word.”[6] And St. Proclus: “If the mother did not continue a virgin, the one who was born is only a man, nor is the birth wonderful. But if the Mother did remain a virgin even after child-birth, how could the One that is born not be God or the mystery anything but ineffable?”[7]

The whole attitude of the Incarnate Son of God leads us to expect virginity to be the distinguishing mark of His Mother. For all through His life He has manifested a marked preference for the virgin soul. A characteristic example is John. He was the Disciple “whom Jesus loved”. After Peter’s conversion he loved the Master more than the rest, as he himself avowed; but the Master loved John more. Thomas made the most startling protestation of faith that was ever made when he addressed the Man before him, “My Lord and my God”; and yet Jesus confided His secrets only to John. And to John He committed His own Mother at the last moment. Such was the reward of virginity. In His own case, Our Lord let His enemies call Him a Samaritan, a drunkard, one possessed of the very Beelzebub; but He would not let them utter a word against His purity. Not that His other virtues were open to question, but He loved virginity too tenderly to let wicked tongues so much as mention it. It is His most cherished flower. The metaphor of the flower is most significant. For virginity may not be the greatest of virtues, but it is by far the most charming of them; just as a flower is not as precious as a piece of gold, but is infinitely more lovable than it. In any case, the Son of the Virgin has evinced a pronounced predilection for this virtue. Is He not “the flower of the field and the lily of the valleys,”[8] the Beloved “who feedeth among the lilies”?[9] And in His heavenly kingdom virginity has a special place of honour. St. John saw this ravishing vision: “And I beheld: and lo, a Lamb stood upon Mount Sion, and with Him a hundred forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads … And they sang as it were a new canticle, before the throne and before the four living creatures and the ancients: and no man could say the canticle, but those hundred forty-four thousand who were purchased from the earth … These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins. Those follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.”[10] If the price of following the Lamb everywhere is perfect virginity, what shall we say of leading the Lamb?

Mary’s perpetual virginity adds lustre, if possible, even to her Divine Maternity. Human nature has nothing more beautiful to offer. While there have always been many to despair of virginity as an impossible ideal, and a few to despise it as an unnatural restraint, the conscience of mankind has always held it in the highest esteem. It has been even worshipped as divine. And this is not surprising, for virginity is the most otherworldly of human virtues. Indeed it is the life of heaven lived on earth. About heaven Our Lord once said that “in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married, but shall be as the angels of God in heaven.”[11] That angels without bodies should be what they are is not very surprising, but it is a very great wonder that bodies are glorified and rendered spiritual like angels. What then shall we say about the miracle of unglorified flesh and blood living the life of heaven here in this vale of tears? It is no wonder, therefore, that the thing was all but unknown and impossible until the Lord Himself gave the stupendous sign of a virgin who bore a Son and remained a virgin. And, therefore, virginity has come to be identified with Mary. It is the synonym for her. In the whole tradition of the Church she is the Virgin. To the believer and the unbeliever she is simply the Virgin. “Who has ever, or in any age, dared to name Mary without at once adding the title Virgin?” asks St. Epiphanius.[12] “Unlike all other mothers,” wrote Scheeben, “with whom motherhood is incompatible with virginity, the mother of the Redeemer remains a Virgin consecrated to God in her very motherhood as well as in her whole life. Indeed on account of the unique perfection of her virginity and of the unique sacredness of her person and whole being, which lays the foundation of her virginity and makes it complete, this woman must be called not merely virgin but specifically the Virgin … As bearer of God and instrument of the Holy Ghost she is taken possession of by God in the most sublime sense of the word and, as a chosen spiritual vessel and spiritual bride of God united to Him by marriage, she belongs to Him alone and without reserve. The highest perfection of the quality of virginity, as it is contained in the Christian idea of the Virgin, comprises permanence. Otherwise Mary cannot be called virgin, much less the Virgin. She is virgo perpetua.”[13]

The Virgin-Birth is the subject of many prophecies and symbols. The Closed Gate of the heavenly Jerusalem that Ezechiel saw, through which the Lord God alone may pass and which must be kept sacred to Him, is evidently a symbol of the Virgin Mother. “What is this gate but Mary?” asks St. Ambrose, “it remains closed because she is a Virgin.”[14] And the Fathers have unanimously accepted the interpretation. Here is the Liturgical interpretation of the vision of Ezechiel: “A long time ago Ezechiel prophesied: I saw a closed gate; and behold, He who was God before all ages proceeded by it for the salvation of the world, and it was again closed, signifying the Virgin because after child-birth she remained a Virgin.”[15] The enclosed garden of the Canticles is another symbol that refers to Mary. “My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.”[16] “In being closed and sealed, it bears resemblance to the Mother of the Lord, Virgin and Mother,” says St. Jerome.[17] Another favourite symbol with the Fathers is the fleece of Gedeon, which remaining intact received the dew of heaven. The peculiar applicability of this figure to the virgin-birth is proved by the outstandingly messianic Psalm 71, where it is said that “He shall descend like rain upon fleece.” Even the Liturgy repeatedly makes use of this figure: “When Thou wast born ineffably from the Virgin, then the Scriptures were fulfilled; Thou didst descend like rain upon fleece.”[18] “Mary is truly compared to the fleece,” says St. Ambrose, “because she so conceived the Lord as to receive Him into her body without any violation of her bodily integrity.”[19] The burning bush of Moses is another classical symbol. “What did that bush of Moses, all in flames but not consumed, signify but Mary giving birth without the travails of child-birth?” asks St. Bernard.[20] The Liturgy confirms the explanation: “The unconsumed bush that Moses saw, we acknowledge to be thy praiseworthy virginity; O Mother of God, pray for us.”[21] But the flowering rod of Aaron, which blossomed contrary to all laws of nature and was for that reason preserved in the Holy of Holies beside the ark of the covenant, is perhaps the most beautiful and significant of all the Biblical symbols of the Virgin Mother of God. “What does that rod flowering without contact with the earth signify,” asks St. Bernard again, “if not Mary who conceived though she knew not man?”[22]

This miraculous virginity of Mary, along with her Divine Maternity, holds such a key position in the Christian scheme that it was one of the earliest truths to be assailed by the unbelievers and defined by the Church. Apart from the rationalists who must consistently oppose all that is miraculous, the Jews were the first to deny the virginal birth of Christ. The reason is plain: they knew all about the prophecy of Isaias and its implications. St. Matthew had thrown down the challenge when he wrote in his Gospel: “Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying, Behold a Virgin shall conceive &c.”[23] But when the Jews attempted to evade the proof of the Scriptures by arguing the impossibility of the virgin-birth, St. Cyril of Jerusalem harangued them in these words: “O, ignorant Jews, whence was Adam formed? Did not God take the dust of the earth and make this admirable creature? What then? Clay is changed into the eye, and a virgin cannot bear? Is not God able to do what seems so impossible to men?”[24] Of the heretics, all those who deny the Divinity of Christ, like the Ebionites, Arians and rationalist Protestants, deny also the Virginity of Mary. Helvetius and Jovinianus and the like of them, who display a great wantonness in the domain of morals, must also be hostile to this truth. But the infant Church lisped it in her first breath. It occupies a central position in the Apostles’ Creed, the earliest profession of faith of the Church. The “born of the Virgin Mary” of the Creed is a clear echo of the “a virgin shall conceive and bear a son” of Isaias. The Church has always understood these words in their literal and logical sense, that is, in the sense that Mary was a Virgin both in conceiving the Word and in giving birth to Him. There has been some confusion of thought about this last point. It has been urged by some, like Ratramus, and in good faith, that in order to make sure of the reality of the birth of Christ, it should be assumed to have taken place in the usual way, that is by an actual opening of the womb. But Catholic tradition has always stoutly opposed all such suggestions. Thus wrote St. Ambrose to Pope Siricius in the name of the Council of Milan: “In a false sense it is related that she conceived as a virgin, but did not bring forth as a virgin. If she could, then, conceive as a virgin, could she not bring forth as a virgin, when conception always precedes birth? But if the doctrines of the priests are not believed, let us believe the admonitions of the angels who say, ‘because no word shall be impossible with God’ (Luke I, 37); let the Creed of the Apostles be believed, which the Roman Church has always kept and guarded inviolately … Isaias says that it is not only a virgin who will conceive, but also a virgin who will bring forth. Who is that gate of the sanctuary, that outward gate which looks to the east, which remains shut, and through which no man shall pass, except the God of Israel alone (Ezech. 44: 2)? Is Mary not that gate through which the Redeemer entered into this world?”[25] St. Augustine develops the same idea: “… that we should believe in the only begotten Son of God the Father Almighty, born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary … and so, if her integrity was violated by His birth, then surely He was not born of the virgin, and it would be wrong for the whole Church to profess as it now does that He is born of the Virgin Mary, whereas the Church itself in imitating its mother, daily begets its members, yet remains a virgin.”[26] Thus wrote Pope Leo I: “He is conceived of the Holy Ghost within the womb of the virgin mother who brought Him forth without violation of her virginity, just as she conceived Him without violation of her virginity.”

The Saints have compared the birth of Christ to the penetration of glass by light, the coming forth of the glorified body of Christ from the sealed tomb, and His passing through closed doors. “It is truly a new thing,” wrote St. Jerome, “and the most marvellous of all wonders, that God so entered into the enclosure of the womb as not to be restricted by it, so remained in it that the whole Divinity was there, and so proceeded thence that it remained a perfectly closed gate (as Ezechiel confessed). Hence the Canticle sings about her: a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.”[27] “Do you wish to know how he was born of a virgin, and how the mother remined a virgin even after His birth?” asks St. Chrysostom, and after explaining His passage through closed doors, continues, “there was no passage to enter by, and yet He was there inside. He has entered, and no one knows how He entered. You do not know how the thing was done, and you attribute it to the power of God. Well, attribute to the same power the fact that He was born of a virgin and that virgin remained a virgin even after childbirth.”[28] And St. Maximus: “The miracle which the Evangelist says took place at the resurrection of Christ, I believe took place also at His birth … Why do we seek reason here? Why fatigue our minds unnecessarily? ‘Who can explain His generation?’ (Is. liii, 8). Why should we be surprised at the novelty when we see there the Divine Majesty?”[29] Here is a brilliant display of Augustinian rhetoric: “The power of God brought out the body of the Infant through the inviolate and intact body of the Mother, which later brought in the body of the young Man through closed doors. If you find the explanation for it, it will not be wonderful; if you find a parallel for it, it will not be singular. Let us grant that God can do something at least that we cannot fully explain. In such matters the whole reason for the doing is the power of the doer.”[30] It would be an injury to God, says St. Ildephonsus, to assume that He who preserved the virginity of Hs Mother at His conception did not do so at His birth; that having brought it to the peak of perfection in the virginal conception, undid the whole thing at His birth. God does not work miracles by halves.

“The first and most essential element in the supernatural birth of Christ,” writes Scheeben, “lies in the fact that He appeared from the bosom of His Mother utero clauso et obsignato, as He later appeared at His Resurrection ex sepulchro clauso et obsignato, which formed as it were His second bodily birth. As a second element, naturally consequent upon the first, the birth of Christ was also effected without pain to the mother through effractio or violatio claustra virginalis. The third element lies in the fact that the birth involved for neither the mother nor the child the so-called sordes nativitatis naturalis. The last two points are a consequence of the first, but still find their special reasons in the dignity of the mother and in that of the child.”[31]

But Mary’s perpetual virginity has had enemies without end. Most heretics, while admitting the virginal birth of Christ, do not want His Mother to remain a virgin afterwards. And they seek evidence for it in the very Scriptures. Has not St. Matthew written: “And he (Joseph) knew her not till she brought forth her first-born son”?[32] Therefore, they argue, he knew her afterwards. Now, this is only a question of understanding aright the Biblical idiom. “Knew her not till she brought forth” does not mean that he knew her afterwards, any more than the words of God to Christ, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool,”[33] mean that Christ will be dethroned as soon as His enemies are crushed. “I shall not recede from my innocence until I die,” said Job[34]; he never meant he would give up his righteous ways after his death. Or again the Book of Genesis in describing the Deluge says: “The crow did not return until the waters were dry”[35]; it never returned at all. The word ‘firstborn’ has been another stumbling-block. Does it imply a second- and a third-born? The Bible does not warrant any such assumption. In any case, when the Law ordered the first-born to be offered in the Temple on the fortieth day it evidently did not allow time to make sure of the advent of the second-born. The same must be said about the ‘brothers of Christ’ mentioned in the Gospels. Even distant relations are brothers in Biblical parlance, and James and John the “brothers of the Lord” are expressly said to be the sons of Alpheus and another Mary. Against all these objections the Church repeatedly raised her infallible voice in numerous Councils. For example, the Lateran Council, convened in 649 under Pope Martin I, defined as follows: “Should any one fail to confess, truly and really, according to the Fathers, that the Holy Mother of God, the Immaculate and ever Virgin Mary, conceived of the Holy Ghost without human seed, in these latter ages, the Son of God born of the Father before all ages, and brought Him forth incorruptedly and remained an inviolate Virgin after childbirth, let him be anathema.”[36]

But there is much more to the virginity of Mary than might at first sight appear. The Fathers and the theologians distinguish three elements in it, which they name the virginity of the body, the virginity of the mind and the virginity of the heart. The first is the integrity of the body we have been explaining so far, which remained inviolate before, during and after the birth of Christ. The second element, the virginity of the mind, consists in a firm and habitual resolve to preserve virginity or, in other words, the vow of virginity. The Saints are unanimous in asserting that Mary consecrated her virginity to God by a vow early in her life, and that it was perhaps the first instance of the vow of virginity. “She was the beginning of beatitude and of virginity,” wrote St. Albert the Great, “and so she is the Virgin of virgins. For without counsel, without example, she made God the glorious offering of virginity, and thus by her example brought forth all other virgins.”[37] And St. Bede: “She was truly full of grace, to whom the grace was given to be the first woman to present to God the most glorious gift of virginity.”[38] But it was incomparably more than what we understand by the vow. For it was not merely the case of a creature dedicating her virginity to God in order to be unfettered and undivided in His service, but of God Himself consecrating and sublimating the voluntary virginity of a creature in  order to render it a worthy receptacle of the greatest of His marvels. Her clear realisation of this consecration and consequent obligation is sufficiently indicated in her reply to the Angel. When Gabriel announces to her that she is to be the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, it is not a sense of elation or exultation that she betrays, but one of embarrassment: “And Mary said to the Angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?”[39] What she expressed was not, as some preachers would have it, a reluctance to sacrifice her virginity if God so willed it, but her inability to understand how the perpetual virginity God had evidently demanded of her was to be reconciled with the Divine Maternity He was apparently offering her. “She does not ask whether it will be done,” explains St. Bernard, “but only how, as if to say, ‘as the Lord, the witness of my conscience, knows that His handmaid has vowed perpetual virginity, how is His holy will going to be realised in this matter?’”[40] She only wanted to know the full import of the message in order to accept the holy will of God with all its implications; and the Angel promptly explained it to her. But the incident, though apparently of little importance, threw her habitual disposition fully into relief. “I know not man.” The tone and the tense and the whole tenor can mean, if anything, only that she was perpetually bound to virginity. “Mary would not have said these words,” says St. Augustine, “if she had not vowed to God virginity.”[41] And that great theologian Pope Benedict XIV concludes: “There can be no doubt whatever but that the Virgin Mary had vowed virginity. When informed by the Angel that she would bring forth a Son, she replied: ‘How shall this be done, etc.,’ which reply amply proves that she had taken the vow of perpetual virginity.”[42]

But the third element of her virginity, that of the heart, which consists in freedom from all concupiscence, is the finishing touch of her virginity, the quality that makes it distinctively a thing of heaven. For it is the peculiar condition of glorified bodies. “The appetite of the Virgin sought nothing but God,” wrote St. Bernard, “nor did it seek anything earthly; rather it found satisfaction in the table of the Lord and continually feasted on His delights.”[43] This privilege of Mary has even been urged as an argument for her freedom from corruption after death and her Assumption into heaven. The Greek tradition is represented by St. John Damascene when he writes: “The Immaculate Virgin, who did not incur any earthly affection, but was nourished by heavenly thoughts, did not return to the earth, but, being a living heaven, was received into the heavenly tabernacles.”[44] St. Peter Damian voices the Latin tradition: “The Virgin’s flesh, although assumed from Adam, did not incur the taint of Adam’s sin, but her singular purity of continence was changed into the splendour of eternal light.”[45] This is how Scheeben concludes the discussion of this point: “According to all the principles pertaining to this matter, it must be definitely admitted that, from the moment of Mary’s conception, immunity from concupiscence was established and confirmed in her, in that form at least in which it existed in the original state as an element of the incorruption, integrity, justice and original innocence. If and in so far as it can and must be designated as an extinction, or rather, as the complete absence of the fomes in the original state, this must also be the case in Mary. Consequently, in Mary this freedom should be traced not only to divine protection, but also to a permanent and interior gift of grace … Hence, the flesh was subject to and entirely ruled by the spirit in such a way that not only was it unable to act in an irregular manner contrary to the intellect, but it was powerless to act at all without a previous assent of the rational will.”[46]

If this freedom from concupiscence follows logically from her Immaculate Conception, her Divine Maternity has made it absolutely indispensable. For her flesh and blood are organically united to those of the God-Man, and anything that might imply defect or deterioration in the former must disgrace the latter. So that even those theologians who denied her Immaculate Conception stoutly defended her freedom from concupiscence. When God corporally took His abode in her, becoming one flesh and blood with her, the already immaculate purity of her body was still further enhanced. St. Thomas Aquinas applies to her this vision of Ezechiel: “And behold, the glory of God of Israel came by the way of the East: and the earth shone with His Majesty.”[47] This virgin earth could not but assume a dazzling brightness when God took up His abode in her.

Mary, therefore, is the embodiment of virginity at its best, the sort of virginity that is not granted to others this side of death. If all graces pass through her, virginity is peculiarly her gift. She is the beginning of virginity, as St. Albert said. She is the dispenser and protectress of it as all know by experience. It is she who brought forth all other virgins, said the same Albert the Great. This celestial flower cannot thrive without her maternal care, without being tended by those virginal and virginity-infusing hands of hers. The very sight of her beauty was an incentive to purity, said St. Denis the Carthusian. “Thou sayest that Mary did not remain a virgin,” wrote St. Jerome against the heretic Helvidius, “well, I take it upon myself to maintain more than that, even that St. Joseph himself preserved his virginity through Mary.”[48] Let us conclude with the touching exhortation of Cardinal Newman: “O my dear children, young men and young women, what need have you of the intercession of the virgin-Mother, of her help, of her pattern, in this respect! What shall bring you forward in the narrow way, if you live in the world, but the thought and patronage of Mary? What shall seal your senses, what shall tranquillise your heart, when sights and sounds of danger are around you, but Mary? What shall give you patience and endurance, when you are wearied out with the length of the conflict with evil, with the unceasing necessity of the precautions, with the irksomeness of observing them, with the tediousness of their repetition, with the strain upon your mind, with your forlorn and cheerless condition, but a loving communion with her? She will comfort you in your discouragements, solace you in your fatigues, raise you after your falls, reward you for your successes. She will show you her Son, your God and your all. When your spirit within you is excited, or relaxed, or depressed, when it loses its balance, when it is restless and wayward, when it is sick of what it has, and hankers after what it has not, when your eye is solicited with evil and your mortal frame trembles under the shadow of the tempter, what will bring you to yourselves, to peace and health, but the cool breath of the Immaculate and the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon? It is the boast of the Catholic religion, that it has the gift of making the young heart chaste; and why is this, but that it gives us Jesus Christ for our food, and Mary for our nursing mother. Fulfil this boast in yourselves; prove to the world that you are following no false teaching, vindicate the glory of your mother Mary, whom the world blasphemes, in the very face of the world, by the simplicity of your own deportment, and the sanctity of your words and deeds. Go to her for the royal heart of innocence. She is the beautiful gift of God, which outshines the fascinations of the bad world, and which no one ever sought in sincerity and was disappointed. She is the personal type and representative image of that spiritual life and renovation in grace, ‘without which no one shall see God’. ‘Her spirit is sweeter than honey and her heritage than the honeycomb. They that eat her shall yet be hungry, and they that drink her shall still thirst. Whoso hearkeneth to her shall not be confounded, and they that work by her shall not sin.’”[49]



[1] Is. vii, 14.

[2] Dialog. contra Tryph.

[3] In Laud. Fest. Annum.

[4] Hom. 2 supra missus est.

[5] Ep. ad. Heronem.

[6] Hom. ii in die Nat. Dom. n. 1 & 2.

[7] Oratio in Laud. S. Mariae, n. ii.

[8] Cant. ii, 1.

[9] Cant. vi, 2.

[10] Apoc. xiv, 1, 3, 4.

[11] Matth. xxii, 30.

[12] Contra. Antidicomar.

[13] Mariology, Vol. I, ch. vii.

[14] De Instit. Virginum, c. vii; cf. Ep. 42.

[15] Resp. Fer. IV, Heb. I Adv.

[16] Cant. iv, 12.

[17] Adv. Jovinian. I, 31.

[18] Vesp. Fest. Purific.

[19] Serm. V. de Nat. Dom.

[20] Hom. 2 Supra missus est.

[21] Vesp. Fest. Purific.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Matth. I. 22, 23.

[24] Cathec. xii.

[25] Epist. 42, n. 4, 5.

[26] Enchiridion, cap. 34.

[27] Hom. de Assumpt. B.M.V.

[28] Hom. de Joanne Bapt., et Hom. 2 de Symbol.

[29] Hom. 2 de Nat. Dom.

[30] Ep. 3 ad Valusianum.

[31] Mariology, Vol. I, ch. vi.

[32] Matth. I, 25.

[33] Ps. cix.

[34] Job. xxvii, 5.

[35] Gen. viii, 7.

[36] Consult. V, can. 3.

[37] In Mariale.

[38] Hom. de Fest. Annun.

[39] Luc. i, 34.

[40] Serm. 4 Supra missus est.

[41] De virginit. c. 4.

[42] De Festis B.M.V., cap. i, n. 7.

[43] Quoted in Janssens, P. II, Sect. i, memb. 1, art. 3.

[44] Or. 2, in Deip. Dorm. n. 2.

[45] Serm. 40, in Assump. Virg.

[46] Mariology, Vol. ii, ch. vi.

[47] Ezech. xliii, 2.

[48] Lib. adv. Helvid.

[49] Discourse xviii, to Mixed Congregations.