Markella of Chios

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The holy and glorious Virgin-martyr Markella of Chios (also Marcella) is the patron saint of Chios and was born and lived in the village of Volissos of Chios. Her feast day is celebrated on July 22.

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History

Markella was born and lived in the village of Volissos of Chios and lived during the fourteenth century. Her mother was a devout christian but her father was an idolater. At a young age, her mother passed away and Markella continued to study her bible, pray to God and live a life according to what she was taught.

Her father began to have sinful desires for Markella. By the time she had reached her eighteenth birthday, her father's desires had begun to show and his behaviour resulted in Markella leaving home. She went to a nearby mountain and hid in a bush. Her father found her, with the help of a local herdsmen, and they set fire to the bush to force her to show. Markella ran to the sea to escape but her father aimed an arrow at her and wounded her. The blood of the saint dyed the rocks and to this very day, during the festivites for her feast day, at a specific time, her blood becomes visible on these rocks for all the faithfull who bear witness to this miracle.

Her final moments were spent in prayer to Christ with a request that the rocks would open for her to hide from her father and this happened. Everything but her head was covered so when her father found her, he cut of her head and threw it into the sea. Her head floated to the nearby beach of Komi. For many years, the locals could not locate her head until one day an Italian Naval ship was in the area. In the evening, they could see a bright light coming from the distance and when they got closer they witnessed the head of the Saint, floating in the water, surrounded by lit candles floating upright. They realised the importance of this miracle and returned to their homeland with the head of the Saint.


Hymns

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.

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