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Markella of Chios

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[[Image:MarkellaChios01.JPG|thumbnail|right|Markella of Chios [[icon]] found in the Church of St. Markella, Chios island - the place of her martyrdom]]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]].
== 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 , who was mayor of the village, was an idolater. At a young age, her mother passed away and , but not before she had taught Markella continued the ways of the Lord. While her father saw to study her bibleeducation, pray she continued to God live in faith and live a life according virtue, dedicating herself to what [[Jesus Christ]]. She studied the [[Bible|Holy Bible]] and spent many hours in [[prayer]]. She practiced the virtues of [[fast|fasting]], love, hospitality and chastity. She avoided idle interactions so that she would not come to spiritual harm. Her goal was taughtto attain the Kingdom of Heaven, and to become a bride of Christ.
Her father began to have sinful desires for St Markella. By the time increased in virtue as she had reached her eighteenth birthdaygrew older, fasting, praying, her father's desires had begun to show and his behaviour resulted in Markella leaving homeattending church services. She went tried to a nearby mountain keep the commandments and hid in a bushto lead others to God. Her She loved and respected her father found her, with the help and comforted him in his sorrow. She told him she would take care of a local herdsmen him in his old age, and they set fire to the bush to force her to showwould not abandon him.
As an adult, St Markella ran was loved by everyone for her beauty and for her spiritual gifts. Her father, moved by the [[devil|evil one]] began to have sinful desires for Markella. By the sea time she had reached her eighteenth birthday, her father's desires had begun to escape but show and so Markella decided to leave from her father aimed an arrow at 's house in order to preserve her purity. She went to a nearby mountain and wounded hid in a bush. Her father found her. The blood , with the help of a local shepherd, and then set fire to the saint dyed bush to force her to show. It is said that the rocks and local legend shows an area that is still marked by her bloodshepherd's hand with which he pointed out Markella's hiding spot immediately began to tremble.
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<gallery>Image:MarkellaChios05. Everything but her head was covered so when her father found her, he cut of her head and threw it into the seaJPGImage:MarkellaChios06. Her head floated to the nearby beach of KomiJPGImage:MarkellaChios07. JPG</gallery>
[[Image:MarkellaChios02.JPG|thumbnail|left|Location where the blood of the [[martyr]] appears annually marking the spot on which she was wounded]]. 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 festivities for her feast day, at a specific time, her blood becomes visible on these rocks for all the faithful 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. She was enclosed in the rock, with only her chest and head visible. Upon finding her, filled with evil frenzy, her father butchered her body and then cut off 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 the 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 a head, floating in the water, lit by upright floating candles. Immediately, they realised that this was a sacred miracle they were witness to and they took the head of the Saint back to their homeland. [[Image:Image-MarkellaChios03.JPG|thumbnail|right|Final resting place of St. Markella]][[Image:MarkellaChios04.JPG|thumbnail|right|Shrine opposite the tomb]]. Holy water is said to spring from the rocks that mark Markella's her martyrdom . Many pilgrims visit this location and this place is visited by pilgrims. On every year on the [[July 22|22nd of July]], when her memory is honouredduring the commemoration services for the Saint, the holy sea water of in the sea near this area rock pool boils during the prayers entire Paraklisis Service; this phenomenon only occurs in the presence of a [[priest]]. If a pilgrim's faith is strong, a local tradition is that the Paraklisis honouring water in the saintrock-pool will feel extremely warm to touch.
== Hymns ==
'''[[Apolytikion]]''':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.
==See also==
*[http://www.chiosonline.gr/aghiamarcella.asp The Holy Shrine of St. Marcella]
*[http://www.chioshistory.gr/en/mxx/volissosam.html Volissos - Saint Markella]
*[http://www.e-xios.gr/chios/5/53.html Chios - Saint Markella]
[[Category:Martyrs]]
[[Category:Saints]]
[[Category:Byzantine Saints]]
[[Category:Greek Saints]]
[[Category:14th-century saints]]
 
[[el:Μαρκέλλα Χίου]]
[[ro:Marcela din Chios]]

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