Chios, Greece, July 22, 2021
Hundreds of faithful Orthodox pilgrims from all over the island of Chios and beyond made their way last night to the Church of St. Markella, built on the site of the 14th-century saint’s martyrdom.
The saint was martyred by her own father, who beheaded her on the rocks near the sea. Today there is a church on the site with a wonderworking icon of the holy martyr. Holy water also springs from the rocks that mark her martyrdom, and every year the water in the rock pool boils during the entire Paraklesis service on her feast day.
Early in the afternoon yesterday, hundreds of worshiper set off from the city of Chios to travel the 25 miles to the other side of the island, reports Romfea.
The family of a local priest offered the pilgrims water and juice along their way. Volunteers from the Red Cross and other organizations and the traffic police of Chios also helped make sure the procession went smoothly.
Vespers for the feast was celebrated by Bishop Joachim of Apollonia, the vicar of the Diocese of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
Even after midnight, there was still a long line to enter the church and venerate the wonderworking icon of St. Markella.
Apolytikion/Troparion to St. Markella:
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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