Among the most important religious monuments of the Aegean Sea, Saint Markella of Chios occupies a special place and the icon of Saint Markella is one of the most revered and is said to be miraculous.
In the beautiful village of Volissos you will find the church of Saint Markella, located on the homonymous cove sticking shyly in an area full of sycamores, in a short distance from the place where the Saint was killed. The story of the martyrdom turns us to 1500 AD and this story captured in the minds of local residents. Saint Markella died from the hand of her own father, when he tried to attack her and rape her. Motherless, the modest and deeply religious Marcella, was forced to live with his authoritarian pagan-father, who began to express his immoral desires which she refused to do.
Afraid of her father, Saint Markella fled to nearby mountains 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. She 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.
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 off her head and threw it into the sea. The rock in which she was killed is said to spring holy water and many witnesses say at the day of the celebration of her memory, some rocks appear red spots and the water removes vapor.
The nameday of Saint Markella is on July 22, it is celebrated every year with great pomp in the church swarmed with visitors from all over the country who rushing to venerate the icon. If you are lucky enough to be on this day in Volissos, you will see the church covers a huge number of candles that were lit in order to honor the memory of the Saint Markella of Chios. Visiting the church, you'll be able to live in the cells-hostels and to feel the divine aura and atmosphere that reigns here.