Did mary have a vaginal Birth.
This is part of a classic work on Mariology by Mons. Pohle, which everyone interested in the Catholic teaching on this subject should read:  http://www.pickleloaf.com/2011/08/mariol...eph-pohle/

I was referred to this work by a prominent traditional Catholic priest.

Quote:Thesis II: The Blessed Virgin Mary remained an inviolate virgin during parturition.

This is likewise an article of faith.

Proof. The virginal conception of Our Lord offers less difficulty to the human mind than His virgin birth, for the reason that maternity necessarily presupposes parturition. It is owing to this difficulty that Mary’s virginitas in partu has become a dogma logically distinct from her virginitas in conceptione. Its chief opponent in ancient times was the infamous Jovinian, a heretic of the fourth century.[35] The fourteenth-century Lollards likewise held that the Blessed Virgin gave birth to her Son just as any ordinary mother. Modern Rationalists and infidel Bible critics quite naturally have nothing but scorn for the dogma of the virgin birth. Jovinian was condemned as a heretic by Pope Siricius at a council held in Rome, A. D. 390. The bishops of Italy and Gaul convoked in Milan by St. Ambrose solemnly declared: “Perversely they assert that she [Mary] conceived as a virgin but was no longer a virgin when she brought forth [her Son] … But if men will not believe the teaching of the priests, let them believe the pronouncements of Christ, let them believe the Apostles’ Creed ['He was born of the Virgin Mary'], which the Church has always guarded and continues to preserve.”[36]

a) The Gospel narrative of the birth of our Divine Saviour contains nothing either to prove or to disprove His virgin birth.[37] However, the dogma has sufficient Scriptural warrant in the prophecy of Isaias. In the sentence: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,”[38] the consequent (“a virgin will bear a son”), like the antecedent (“a virgin will conceive”), must manifestly be taken in sensu composito.[39] In other words, “a virgin will bear a son” means that she will remain a virgin though bearing a son.[40] A passage in Ezechiel is interpreted as referring typically to the virgin birth. “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 God of Israel hath entered in by it. …”[41]

An apparent difficulty arises from the Scriptural account of the Presentation. Luke 2:22 sq.: “After the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.”[42] The sacred writer here seems to put Mary on a level with ordinary mothers. But in matter of fact he merely cites a provision of the Mosaic law, to which the Mother of God conformed in all humility and obedience, despite the fact that the physiological suppositions did not exist in her case. We must remember that the law of Moses was made for the common run of humanity, not for the exceptional few. We must also note that the presentation of the Christ-child in the Temple is accounted for, not by the apertio vulvae et purgatio sanguinis, but by the Mosaic requirement that every firstborn infant should be consecrated to the Lord. As Jesus was the first-born son of His virgin mother, He had to be presented in the Temple and consecrated to God according to the law.[43]

b) Tradition unmistakably attests Mary’s virginitas in partu, in fact there is not a single Father who can be said to be uncertain in his attitude towards this question.

a) The nineteenth among the “Odes and Psalms of Solomon,” lately rediscovered by Rendel Harris,[44] expresses belief in the virgin birth. As these Odes in their present form are probably the work of a Jewish-Christian who lived about A. D. 70, the passage to which we refer may be regarded as the most ancient extra-biblical testimony to the dogma of the virginitas in partu. It reads as follows: “The Virgin’s body sprouted and she conceived and gave birth without pain to a Son; and by the fact that He became nought [humbled Himself] she received aplenty [became rich] and she asked not for a midwife; for He made her to live.”[45] St. Ambrose declares: “The prophet Ezechiel[46] says that he saw the building of a city upon a very high mountain. The city had many gates. Of these one is described as shut. What is this gate but Mary? And shut because a virgin. Mary, then, is the gate through which Christ came into this world, when he was shed forth by a virginal birth, without loosing the bars of virginity. The inclosure of purity remained unscathed, and the seals of integrity were kept inviolate, as He went forth from the virgin. … A good gate is Mary, that was closed, and was not opened. By her Christ passed, but He opened not.” St. Augustine thus descants on the miraculous character of this supernatural process: “The same power evolved the body of the infant from the virginal viscera of the inviolate mother, which afterwards conducted the body of the grown-up youth through locked doors. If we ask for the reason, it is not miraculous; if we demand an example, it is not singular. Let us grant that God can do something which we may as well admit we cannot fathom. In such matters the sole reason for a fact is the power of Him who causes it.”[48] We will conclude the argument by a quotation from Pope Hormisdas (514-523): “The child by the power of God did not open his mother’s womb nor destroy her virginity. It was in truth a mystery worthy of the God who was born, that He who wrought the conception without seed, preserved the birth from corruption.”[49]

The Fathers employ a number of beautiful analogies to elucidate the dogma of the virgin birth. Thus they point to the spotless generation of the Logos in the bosom of the Father; to the genesis of thought in the spiritual soul; to the passage of light through a glass; to Christ’s triumphant resurrection from a sealed tomb, His passing through locked doors, and so forth.

β) There are only two among the early Christian writers, Origen and Tertullian,[50] who can be accused of false teaching in regard to the virgin birth. They were misled by a mistaken regard for the motherhood of our Lady, and partly also by a misapprehension of Luke 2:22. A few ecclesiastical writers employ the expression “vulva aperta,” but the context shows (especially when they argue against Docetism) that, far from denying the virginal character of Christ’s birth, they merely mean to assert its reality.

c) It is a certain theological conclusion that the Blessed Virgin was spared the throes of childbirth.

St. Jerome quotes Sacred Scripture in support of this pious belief. “There was no obstetrician there,” he says, “there were no sedulous women attendants. … She ‘wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger.’” St. John of Damascus testifies to the belief of the Greeks that “no pleasure preceded this delivery, no birth-throes accompanied it.”[52] St. Bernard observes that Christ’s conception “was without reproach and His birth without pain.”
"We see the most eloquent orators mute as fish before thee, O Theotokos, for they are at a loss to tell how thou remainest a Virgin and couldst bear a child."  -- Akathist to Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos.
Impy, excellent resources. Gracias.
Personally, it makes more sense to me that Mary's hymen was not broken due to her Immaculate Conception, not her Perpetual Virginity. But either way I affirm that Mary suffered no physical harm in giving birth to Christ.

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