Icon of the Theotokos “Kardiotissa” – T68


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From the Chora (Town) of Naxos, the port and capital of the Cycladic island of Naxos in Greece, and from the Church of St. John the Forerunner there, this icon is striking in both color composition and artistic expression.  The bright golds and reds accentuate the fine lines of the faces full of expressive love and sweet tenderness of this Sweet-Kissing or “Glykophilousa” style icon of the Virgin Mary titled “Kardiotissa” or “Of the Heart”.  The Lord presses His cheek to touch His mother, stretching His arms out dramatically to embrace her head with His right hand and her shoulder with His left.  He looks up intently in love at this most dear and loving heart who in return holds Him most carefully and intimately.

The Virgin also looks out at us, inviting us into this very personal relationship of love open to all who cry out to Him in Faith and desiring such a relationship, for our will can direct our heart as the bridle directs a horse, because emotional love is not so steady or sure as the willful desire to love God truly in all eternity.  To the degree that our will is free (for worldly desires cloud this free will), we can choose to love and serve God here and hereafter.  

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Church Feast Day 1



Sweet Kissing


St. John the Baptist Church, Naxos, Greece


16th c.