Did Mary love Joseph of Nazareth?
If so, how could we, how could anyone, know?
Matthew in his Gospel implies a full character portrait of Joseph in a few verses on the carpenter himself and his earthly first son, Jesus-
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (1:24-25)
Mary loves Joseph because Joseph is a generous giver. And by giving he is also becomes her love, her gift.
Joseph gives his inner dreams, his internal self, openly, to his-their Lord’s angel; he gives his promise of marriage to the virgin Mary, and keeps it though she is pregnant; Joseph takes her, gives her, his home; he marries her; but, but, …Joseph does not consummate the marriage. Joseph takes Mary home, married, but does not take her physically.
Joseph gives, provides Mary, space.
She must have free space to think and reflect; to reform and reframe her own self and identity. Joseph loves her because Mary is a gift. She is His Lord’s personal gift to Him. This is how he sees her and loves her.
He does not add his touch to God’s; his hands to the Spirit. Joseph gives loving safe space by accepting Mary and naming, by giving this son the name Jesus.
In part we can know that May loves Joseph because she accepts and honours all his giving.
Mary loves Joseph because she receives him as a gift, as her gift.