The Blessed Virgin Mary was not an unwed mother, as some people wrongly assert. She was indeed married to St. Joseph even before the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her.
Matthew 1:18 says: Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Betrothal was the first part of the marriage, constituting a man and woman as husband and wife, as Matthew 1:19 says: Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. The Gospel says that Joseph was her husband or else he would not have thought about divorcing her.
The betrothal was followed some months later by the husband taking his wife into his home, at which time normal married life usually began. Mary and Joseph were legally married but had not taken the second step of living together.
When Joseph saw that Mary was with child, he was planning to divorce her, which shows that, under Jewish law, they were indeed married or he would not have thought about divorcing her.
Matthew 1:20 says: Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
Even the angel affirms that Mary was the wife of Joseph. Matthew1:24-25 further says: When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
CONCLUSION: Mary and Joseph were married long before Jesus was born, so Mary was not an unwed mother. Those who say that Mary was an unwed mother are implying that Mary sinned by giving birth to Jesus before she and Joseph were married, which is not true. By the grace of God, Mary remained free of sin her whole life long (See CCC 493).
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