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Matthew 1:18

Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way: When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
De Spir. Sanct., ii, 5: That which is of any thing is either of the substance or the power of that thing; of the substance, as the Son who is of the Father; of the power, as all things are of God, even as Mary was with Child of the Holy Spirit.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
De Nupt. et Concup., i, 12: There was no carnal knowledge in this wedlock, because in sinful flesh this could not be without carnal desire which came of sin, and which He would be without, who was to be without sin; and that hence He might teach us that all flesh which is born of sexual union is sinful flesh, seeing that Flesh alone was without sin, which was not so born. in App. 122 et. al.: Christ was also born of a pure virgin, because it was not holy that virtue should be born of pleasure, chastity of self-indulgence,incorruption of corruption. Nor could He come from heaven but after some new manner, who came to destroy the ancient empire of death. Therefore she received the crown of virginity who bare the King of chastity. Farther, our Lord sought out for Himself a virgin abode, wherein to be received, that He might show us that God ought to be borne in a chaste body. Serm. 236 in App.: But not, as some impiously think, are we to suppose, that the Holy Spirit was as seed, but we s...

Bede

AD 735
In Luc., c. 3: Mary in interpreted, ‘Star of the Sea,’ after the Hebrew; 'Mistress,’ after the Syriac; as she bare into the world the Light of salvation, and the Lord.
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Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
For blessed Matthew, after enumerating the genealogy of Christ, added the following regarding hope for our salvation: “After Mary, mother of Jesus, had been betrothed to Joseph, she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit before they were married.” This is the heavenly mystery, this sacrament obscured and hidden by the Holy Spirit. Luke describes in greater detail the manner of the Lord’s incarnation, for he recounts how an angel came to Mary and greeted her saying, “Hail woman full of grace,” and the rest that follows. And when Mary asked him how what he had been proclaiming to her could take place—because she had never had relations with a man—he said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. And thus what is born from you will be called the Son of God.” It was right that holy Mary, who was about to conceive the Lord of glory in her womb, be informed about the Holy Spirit and the excellence of the Most High when she received i...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. The Birth of Christ happened in this manner. For Birth, the Greek has not דםוףיע, i.e, generation, properly so called, but דםםחףיע, i.e, rise, conception, generation, nativity. When any one arises he is conceived, is begotten, is born. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Syriac, "of the Spirit of holiness"—that Isaiah , the Spirit who is holy, and the Author and Fountain of all holiness. God willed the Blessed Virgin to be betrothed to Joseph—1. Because Joseph appears to have been the nearest heir of David"s kingdom, that it might devolve from him upon Christ, as from a father to a Song of Solomon , by due order and right of succession, as I have said, ver162. Because Joseph was a most holy Prayer of Manasseh , like unto the patriarch Joseph, of whose chastity and virtue he partook, as well as of his name. He was called Joseph—i.e, increa...
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. The Birth of Christ happened in this manner. For Birth, the Greek has not γένεσις, i.e, generation, properly so called, but γέννησις, i.e, rise, conception, generation, nativity. When any one arises he is conceived, is begotten, is born. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Syriac, "of the Spirit of holiness"—that Isaiah , the Spirit who is holy, and the Author and Fountain of all holiness. God willed the Blessed Virgin to be betrothed to Joseph—1. Because Joseph appears to have been the nearest heir of David"s kingdom, that it might devolve from him upon Christ, as from a father to a Song of Solomon , by due order and right of succession, as I have said, ver162. Because Joseph was a most holy Prayer of Manasseh , like unto the patriarch Joseph, of whose chastity and virtue he partook, as well as of his name. He was called Joseph—i.e, increase...
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Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Epist. ad Monach. Egypt. (Ep. p. 7): What will any one see in the Blessed Virgin more than in other mothers, if she be not the mother of God, but of Christ, or the Lord, as Nestorius says? For it would not be absurd should anyone please to name the mother of any anointed person, the mother of Christ. Yet she alone and more than they is called the Holy Virgin, and the mother of Christ. For she bare not a simple man as ye say, but rather the Word incarnate, and made man of God the Father. But perhaps you say, Tell me, do you think the Virgin was made the mother of His divinity? To this also we say, that the Word was born of the very substance of God Himself, and without beginning of time always coexisted with the Father. But in these last times when He was made flesh, that is united to flesh, having a rational soul, He is said to be born of a woman after the flesh. Yet is this sacrament in a manner brought out like to birth among us; for the mothers of earthly children impart to their na...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
The name of His Mother is added, “Mary.”. And to whom she was betrothed is shewn, Joseph. But the words denote carnal knowledge. ap Anselm: Therefore the words, “Is of the Holy Spirit,” were set down by the Evangelist, to the end, that when it was said that she was with child, all wrong suspicion should be removed from the minds of the hearers. ...
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Jerome

AD 420
But why is He conceived not of a Virgin merely, but of a Virgin espoused? First, that by the descent of Joseph, Mary’s family might be made known; secondly, that she might not be stoned by the Jews as an adulteress; thirdly, that in her flight into Egypt she might have the comfort of a husband. The Martyr Ignatius adds yet a fourth reason, namely, that His birth might be hid from the Devil, looking for Him to be born of a wife and not of a virgin. Hieron. cont. Helvid. in princ.: It is to be known, that Helvidius, a certain turbulent man, having got matter of disputation, takes in hand to blaspheme against the Mother of God. His first proposition was, Matthew begins thus, "When she was espoused.” Behold, he says, you have her espoused, but as ye say, not yet committed; but surely not espoused for any other reason than as being to be married. And found by none other than by Joseph, who knew all, as being her espoused husband. Hieron. Cont. Helvid. in princip.: But says Helvidius; Neithe...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Having said above, “And Jacob begat Joseph,” to whom Mary being espoused bare Jesus; that none who heard should suppose that His birth was as that of any of the forementioned fathers, he cuts off the thread of his narrative, saying, "But Christ’s generation was thus.” As though he were to say, The generation ofall these fathers was as I have related it; but Christ’s was not so, but as follows, “His mother Mary being espoused.”. He announces that he is to relate the manner of the generation, shewing therein that he is about to speak some new thing; that you may not suppose when you hear mention of Mary’s husband, that Christ was born by the law of nature. Therefore both espoused and yet remaining at home; for as in her who should conceive in the house of her husband, is understood natural conception; so inher who conceives before she be taken to her husband, there is suspicion of infidelity. Serm. 148: If you are not confounded when you hear of the birth of God, let not His conception d...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
4. Having then mentioned all His forefathers, and ending with Joseph, he did not stop at this, but added, Joseph the husband of Mary; intimating that it was for her sake he traced his genealogy also. Then, lest when you have heard of the husband of Mary, you should suppose that Christ was born after the common law of nature, mark, how he sets it right by that which follows. You have heard, says he, of an husband, you have heard of a mother, you have heard a name assigned to the child, therefore hear the manner too of the birth. The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. Matthew 1:18 Of what kind of birth are you telling me, I pray you, since you have already mentioned His ancestors? I still wish to tell you the manner also of His birth. Do you see, how he wakens up the hearer? For as though he were about to speak of something unusual, he promises to tell also the manner thereof. And observe a most admirable order in the things he has mentioned. For he did not proceed directly to th...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Do not speculate beyond the text. Do not require of it something more than what it simply says. Do not ask, “But precisely how was it that the Spirit accomplished this in a virgin?” For even when nature is at work, it is impossible fully to explain the manner of the formation of the person. How then, when the Spirit is accomplishing miracles, shall we be able to express their precise causes? Lest you should weary the writer or disturb him by continually probing beyond what he says, he has indicated who it was that produced the miracle. He then withdraws from further comment. “I know nothing more,” he in effect says, “but that what was done was the work of the Holy Spirit.” Shame on those who attempt to pry into the miracle of generation from on high! For this birth can by no means be explained, yet it has witnesses beyond number and has been proclaimed from ancient times as a real birth handled with human hands. What kind of extreme madness afflicts those who busy themselves by curious...
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Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
Yet it might be referred to the foregoing in this way, The generation of Christwas, as I have related, thus, “Abraham begat Isaac.”. Or the word “come together” may not mean carnal knowledge, but may refer to the time of the nuptials, when she who was betrothed begins to be wife. Thus, "before they came together,” may mean before they solemnly celebrated the nuptial rites. ...
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Why did God permit her to be betrothed, and thus give men any cause at all for suspicion that Joseph had come together with her? So that she would have a protector in hardships; for Joseph took care of her during the flight to Egypt and preserved her. She was betrothed for another reason: to escape the notice of the devil. For the devil had heard that the Virgin would conceive (Is. 7:14), and was keeping the Virgin under his surveillance. So that the deceiver might be deceived, Joseph betrothed the Ever-virgin, outwardly appearing to be her spouse, but not so in actual deed. "Come together" here means "physical relations." For she had conceived before there were any physical relations. Therefore the evangelist is amazed at the extraordinary event and cries out, "she was found." ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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