Icon of the “Glykophilousa” – T45


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Church Feast Day 1



Sweet Kissing


20th c. (Late)


Monk Michael of Athos


The Monk Michael of Mount Athos painted this Greek “Sweet Kissing” (in Greek “Glykophilousa”) icon in 1988.  The theme of tender embrace embodied in this icon is very popular in icons of the Virgin Mary with her child, Jesus Christ.  Here the Lord of Lord and King of Kings is, in His human nature, reaching out to all people dedicated to Him in their love of God, by tenderly placing His cheek next to the Virgin’s cheek, and reaching up with His left hand to sweetly touch her chin.  He looks at her with love, for the Lord says through His Prophet David “with the merciful Thou wilt show Thyself merciful, and with the upright man Thou wilt show Thyself upright.  With the pure Thou wilt show Thyself pure; and with the froward [stubborn] Thou wilt show Thyself unsavory.” (2 Samuel 22:26-27)

Thus the Lord sees the inward secrets of each heart and responds accordingly, showing mercy, uprightness, purity, stubborness, and also love.  This explains His extraordinary love poured out on the Virgin Mary, for she loved much.  May we learn from her how to better love Him Who loved us from the beginning.