This contemporary Greek icon was painted by the Monk Michael of Mount Athos in 1990 and shows the Virgin Mary with her Divine Child as Sweet Kissing, referring to the tender embrace of both her and her Son in this expressive icon. Here the Theotokos or “Birth-Giver of God” (which is the exact translation from the Greek) sweetly holds Him and presses her cheek against Christ’s cheek to show the wonderful and mutual familiar relationship of mother to child, and child to mother. At the same time, however, she was very aware that His was no mere human person but the Living God Who came down from Heaven, and thus always treated Him with the utmost love and reverence as her God.
Christ truly had two natures, one human and one Divine, that together made up His one Person, the most full expression of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These two concepts–the mystery of the Persons yet unity of the Holy Trinity, and the two natures of Christ–are beyond the human mind, yet were elucidated most perfectly by our Holy Fathers at the Seven Ecumenical Councils from a.d. 325 to 787.