Is it possible to see a relation between Mary, virgin and disciple, and the question of a possible vow of virginity? The fundamental attitude of oblation,
of openness and receptivity towards God, proper to the model disciple, may it be considered an existential disposition on which will be grafted,
after the event of the Annunciation, a way of life that we call virginity? Some recent readings point in that direction, without saying so
expressly.1 Several authors affirm or reaffirm the existence of a vow of virginity. B. Pixner suggests a convergence of meaning
between Luke 1:34 and 11 Q Migd 53, 1654, 3 of Qumrân (which comments on Numbers 30: 4-9) on the meaning of God's legitimation of a woman's vow of
sexual abstinence.2 R. Laurentin goes back to Tradition:
"That Mary had resolved to belong to God alone, by reason of an inspiration, is clearly attested by Luke 1:34."3 But is it a question
of inspiration leading to intent or to an actual vow? I. de La Potterie does not wish to imply that Mary made a vow of virginity. According to him,
Mary was penetrated by desire for virginity that will be fully respected by God.4 P. Guilbert does not seem to share the same opinion. He finds
de La Potterie's proposal too involved and surprising: "The author seems to lend to Mary the 'secret desires' of his own
Marian devotion."5 The general tenor recognizes the fact but seems to be hesitant to attribute firm intent leading to an actual vow6.
1 See García Paredes, Mariología, 355. "There was no need for any vow of virginity. The charism
of the virginal maternity was received by her as a program for her life;" Brown, A Coming Christ in Advent:
Essays on the Gospel Narratives Preparing for the Birth of Jesus, Matthew 1 and Luke 1 (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1988), 62:
"... so that what happens is not a response to her yearning [virginity!] but a surprise initiative by God...."
2 See B. Pixner, "Maria im Hause Davids. Tempelrolle ung Jungfrauengeburt," Geist und Leben 64 (Jan./Feb. 1991): 42-43.
3 Laurentin, Vie authentique de Jésus Christ, 2:64-65.
4 See I. de la Potterie, "La concezione verginale di Cristo," in Atti di Capua (1992), 1:203, n.60.
5 P. Guilbert, Marie des Écritures (Paris: Nouvelle Cité, 1995), 135.
6 James R. White, Mary: Another Redeemer?, 29-31.