It tends to disturb some people that in the opening portion of this gospel reading it is said that when our Lord went down to Capernaum, not only his mother and his disciples followed him, but also his brothers. There have been heretics who supposed that Joseph, the husband of the blessed virgin Mary, begot of another wife those whom the scriptures call the Lord’s brothers. Others with a greater lack of faith, have supposed that he begot these of Mary herself after our Lord’s birth. But we, dearly beloved brothers, without any hesitation or questioning  must be aware and confess that not only the blessed Mother of God but also Joseph, the most blessed witness and guardian of her chastity, always remained wholly aloof from the conjugal act; and further, that those who after the customary manner of the scriptures are called our Saviour’s brothers or sisters were not their children but their relatives.

– Saint Bede the Venerable, Homily on John 2:12-22

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