Rock of Saint Markella | Chios
Updated: Apr 8
Saint Markella (celebrated on July 22) lived in Chios in the 14th century. She was raised as a Christian by her mother but her father was a pagan. Her mother died when she was very young.
Close to the 18th birthday she wanted to leave away from her father who wanted her to be pagan and who also had a lust for her. Thus, she fled to nearby mountains and hid. But her father found her, Markella ran to the sea to escape, her father aimed an arrow at her and wounded her. As believed by local people, the blood of Saint Markella dyed the rocks and still today, during the festivities for her feast day, at a specific time, her blood becomes visible.
The local tradition also says that holy water springs from the rocks. Pilgrims who visit the rock every year on 22nd July say that during the commemoration services for the Saint, in the presence of a priest, the holy sea water in the rock pool boils. If a pilgrim's faith is strong, another local tradition says that the water in the rock-pool will feel extremely warm to touch.