Mary and Jesus as mother and son

by Thomas C. Fox

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Paulist Press last month published NCR book editor Arthur Jones’ newest book, Mary, a Mother Waiting: Raising the Messiah. Jones describes the book as an exploration of the mother-son relationship of Mary and Jesus during the “hidden years,” until she eases him into his ministry at Cana. You can also learn more about the book and follow a discussion on The Marian Blog on the NCR Web site as well as on Facebook ( and Twitter ( Earlier this month, NCR spoke with Jones about the book.

NCR: Where did this book come from? What prompted it?
Jones: Possibly it’s generational. There’s an unrecognized male cohort in the West around my generation. For four to six years, most males born in the 1930s were raised by women -- the men were all away, fighting a war. Britain was as misogynistic as they come, but my generation had an opportunity to see women, their mothers and aunts, differently, stronger, self-reliant -- I refer to it in the introduction in some detail. Blend this with the ever present Virgin Mary pictures in homes on the maternal side of my family, her presence in the churches, our May, month of Mary parades and it’s scarcely surprising that as the German bombs dropped on us we prayed to her.

Then, to bring it up to date, Robert Graham’s Mary above the main portal of Los Angeles’ new cathedral achieves what I in part aimed for: Mary, bare-armed, unveiled, a working mother in every way, involved in the life of her children.

For more of Fox's interview with Jones, see: Mary and Jesus as mother and son

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