There’s something to be said about being a Momma’s boy when it comes to your son being the boy and Mary, the Blessed Virgin, being the Momma. Which of us wouldn’t want our boys to be that kind of Momma’s boy? There is a special relationship between a mother and her son. Being the opposite sexes makes this bond different and yet very deep. How then do we, as mothers, instill a love for the Blessed Mother in our sons? This is something very important to do, regardless of the age of our sons.
Here are a few ideas.
First of all, mom, you need to have a special devotion to Mary yourself. Pray the rosary, talk with Mary, and have a statue of her and pictures of her in the home. In the eyes of Our Lady, we never cease to be little. Ask Mary to accompany you through your day, while you are doing your ordinary tasks.
Once you have developed a relationship with the Blessed Mother, it’ll be easier for your sons to be drawn to her as well. Talk to your sons about Mary and her role in their salvation. My favorite story to meditate on, and to talk with my own sons, is the Wedding Feast at Cana. It has so many different levels that we can draw upon depending upon the age of our boys. At a quick glance, and for young boys, it is a simple but clear message that boys should obey their mothers and that the Blessed Mother always directs us to her Son. I can think in my mind — over and over — how Jesus wasn’t planning to do a miracle until His appointed time, but because His Momma asked him, He did. The situation wasn’t important to anyone but the hosts of the wedding. Mary, in her kindness, didn’t want the hosts of the wedding to be embarrassed. Jesus could not refuse her request in Cana, so he can’t refuse her prayers in Heaven. Our Lady will listen to the prayers of our sons and doesn’t discrimate or validate the requests — she brings them to her Son. Our young Catholic men need to truly become aware of this reality.
In addition, if you haven’t done so already, consecrate your sons to the Blessed Mother. This will ensure her heavenly protection for your son’s entire life! Take your children to the statue of our Blessed Mother in your parish regularly to greet Our Lady and to light a candle. Having a statue to look at makes her real. Our children are smart enough to know we aren’t worshipping the statue but are using it to help focus our minds.
Boys will be drawn to her kind face and helping them light a candle and kneel to say a short prayer will keep their little minds and hands occupied for a minute or two. It takes short but repetitive prayers and actions for children to learn. Devotion to Mary has to be taught and the children learn by doing. As they get older you can take them the Church during a quiet time and allow them a few private minutes at a Marian statue while you, yourself, are praying in a different area of the Church.
Teach your sons devotions to Our Lady, like saying the family Rosary, offering their day to Jesus and Mary and praying at night. A friend recently shared that her son found great comfort in having a rosary that was just a decade long and that he kept it under his pillow at night in a way that made him think of Mary and Jesus.
Always remember that children learn by example — even if you feel they are too old to still get the message — your example is important. If they see you doing these things, they will be more likely to embrace them themselves.
Recently featured on EWTN, All Things Guy, A Guide to Becoming a Man that Matters, is a book for young Catholic boys which has a “Combat Training Plan” to help them develop a prayer life that includes Mary, along with other great Catholic information for boys. The book is filled with Church history, great examples of Catholic men today like Bill Donohue from the Catholic League and Father Frank Pavone from Priests for Life. There are fun puzzle and brain teasers, and ways that will make each boy develop into a Catholic man who makes a difference in the world. All Things Guy is recommended for boys aged 9 through 15.
Having this book at the bed stand is a great way to feed your son tidbits of the Faith and also help him develop a loving relationship with his heavenly Momma.