Holy Mary; the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Today we celebrate the solemnity of the annunciation of the Lord, a celebration that echos how close God is to us, especially to the Blessed Virgin Mary who became his souse.

The Catholic Church has given so many devotional titles to the Blessed Virgin Mary, many of which provokes the opposition of none Catholics. One of such endeared and undeniable titles of Mary is; the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit. Wow! Are Catholics stupid? How dare they call the Blessed Virgin Mary the spouse of the Holy Spirt? The Holy Spirit is God and has no wife.

It is very true that the Holy Spirit is God and that He has no wife; but the Catholic Church proudly insist that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. In fact, “what God has joined, man must not divide”. Mary as the spouse of the Holy Spirit is a devotional title that is biblically backed. Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and she conceived a child in her womb, she became pregnant not by man but by the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:18). You may be very human about this relationship and condemn it with all your strength, but for the Catholic Church it remains a magnetic title, so endearing.

In many passages of the Old Testament, God himself referred to or considered the Israelites as His wife (Is. 54:5. Ez. 16:8-14. Ez.16:59-60. Jer. 31:32), He did not get married to any human being nor did He get married to spirit; He has no wife, yet He called Israel His spouse just as the Church is the spouse of Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:22-33).

I once told a convert to Catholicism that the Catholic Church is so deep, and that it needs lots of faith and understanding to truly worship with us. Our liturgy involves signs and symbols that translates amazing faith in God, and unless you understand them you may criticise the Church just like so many do in ignorant. Catholics are not stupid, we know what we are doing and are convinced about it. Without apology therefore we call the Blessed Virgin Mary the spouse of the Holy Spirit. It is a title that expresses that closeness between the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit, it expresses the special work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Mary and how she was prepared and sanctified to carry the author of life in her womb. In our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary the spouse of the Holy Spirit, we challenge ourselves also to go close to the Holy Spirit.

Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA

Joel Okojie is an ordained Catholic Priest in the Order of St. Augustine. He has been a Priest for over a decade. He served as pastor in two different parishes, he was one time Novice Master and a member of the Provincial Council of the province of St. Augustine of Nigeria, and he is currently on a mission in response to the needs of the Church in Canada.

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