Saint Markella is one of the Saints who lived in Chios.
She was born and lived on Volissos. Her mother was a Christian but her father an idolater. Her mother passed away at a young age and Saint Markella studied the bible, prayed to God and lived her life according to her strong Christian beliefs.
But her father was beginning to have sinful desires and lusted after his own daughter. At the age of 18 the signs of her fathers’ lust began to show.
The behavior of her pagan father made Saint Markella to leave her home. She went to the mountain and hid in a bush. There he found her with the help of a herdsman. He set the bush on fire to force her to show.
Saint Markella ran to the sea trying to escape. Her father aimed with his bow and hurt her with an arrow. The blood of Saint dyed red the rocks while she ran. Even today appear marks that her blood left. The last moments of her life she made a prayer to Christ and requested a rock to open to hide from her father. Thus it happened. A rock opened and hid all the body of Saint Markella but her head. When her father found her he cut her head. After his heinous crime, he threw the Saint’s head to the sea, and her head floated to the beach of Komi. Holy water springs from the rock that Saint Markella died.
On the cove of Saint Markella among the growing planes a church dedicated to Virgin Martyr Markella is built. One of the most important temples of all Aegean. Near the temple are cells where the sightseers can stay for the night. The place of Saint Markella’s martyrdom can be found in 20 minutes distance from the temple.
The holy icon of Saint Markella is considered to be miraculous. They say that when the priest on 22nd of July, when her memory is honoured, prays the paraclesis, the sea water begins to boil, and it stops when the paraclesis finishes.
This day full choral service takes place and pilgrims come from all the island and from many parts of Greece and the world.
After the Mass, the faithful take few holy water from the place of the martyrdom, for protection also to remember the great faith of Saint Markella.
Apolytikion of Saint Markella
“Rose of Piety and sprout of Chios, we honour with canticles Saint Markella who was beheaded by her father’s hand, as she guarded the commands of Christ, give strength and save from danger, us who cry unto you * Glory to Him who gave you Strength, Glory to Him who crowned you. Glory to Him who works through you, healings for all the faithful.