The celebration day of Agia Markella

Agia Markella or Saint Markella was an inhabitant of Chios and is a really revered saint, it is said that her icon is miraculous. Saint Markella was born and lived in Volissos during the 14th Century. She was raised as a Christian by her mother and when she died Agia Markella kept living her life according with the values that her mother taught her.

 

Because of her pureness, unbreakable Faith and good soul, the people called her “earthly angel” but the devil hated her and because of that he started to tempt her father, the man fought with his best but in the end he gave up and the darkness got him.

The story of Agia Markella is a really tragic one, when her father was manipulated by the devil, he wanted to force her to give up on her Faith so she ran away. He found her hiding in a bush and set the bush on fire to force her come out. Markella ran to the sea to escape but her father wounded her with an arrow from the distance. The blood of the saint dyed the rocks and it is said that the believers can see this blood on her festive day. Even it is said that God open a rock for helping her to hide from her father but her head was still visible so he cut it off and threw it into the sea. Her head was found years later by an Italian boat in Komi beach, they saw it surrounded by upright floating candles and they knew because of this that they were seeing something miraculous.

Nowadays and since then, many pilgrims visit this location in Volissos every year on 22nd July, these days are the ones for commemorating Agia Markella. The priest give a service honoring Agia Markella and this service is called Paraklisis, when this service is happening the holy sea water boils during the entire ceremony.

This day is one of the most important for Chios Island and many visitors come for this cause, because Agia Markella is also the patron saint of Chios. In fact the people from Chios walk from Chios City to the monastery of Agia Markella, the distance between the two locations is 45 km and this pilgrims do this for honoring the Saint.

The pilgrims arrive to the Monastery of Agia Markella that is located 8 km away from the village of Volissos.

This is one of the most venerated traditions in Chios Island, so if you are here anytime around these dates pay a visit to the north – western part of the island where you can find Volissos and the Monastery of Agia Markella.

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