Mary and Joseph’s marriage was destined by Providence to protect their virginity and give Jesus Christ to the world.
The incomparable St. Augustine remarked that there are three bonds in marriage: the sacred contract by which those united give themselves entirely to each other; the conjugal love by which they mutually devote their hearts to each other; and lastly, the children, for when the parents’ love comes together in these common fruits of their marriage, their love is bound by a firmer bond.
St. Augustine sees these three bonds in the marriage of St. Joseph. First of all, the sacred contract by which they gave themselves to each other, the triumph of purity in the truth of this marriage. Mary belonged to Joseph and Joseph to the divine Mary, so much so that their marriage was a very true one. But they gave each other their virginity, and over this virginity they gave each other a mutual right to keep it for each other. All the fidelity of this marriage consisted in keeping this virginity. That was the bond of this marriage, and it was all the firmer because the promises they made to each other had to be more inviolable since they were more holy.
- Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, First Panegyric of St. Joseph