The greatest pilgrimage which takes place in Chios is on 22 July every year, Agia Markella’s saint’s day. For many years, the night before Agia Markella’s saint’s day, believers from all around the Chios (and not only), begin a travel on foot to her church, approximately 7 km northwest of Volissos and 48 km from Chios city. In this way people intend to show their faith and ask for help. Testevuide in his book “The island of Chios” reports: “Small english, greek and ottoman steamships transport pilgrims from the coasts of Europe and Asia… About 6000 pilgrims camps out in the wilderness”.
Today almost all of the Chios people make the pilgrimage to Agia Markella’s saint’s day.
Agia Markella was born in Volissos about 1500 BC. We don’t know the names of her parents. She was a simple and very beautiful girl. Unfortunately she had lost her mother. According to the tradition she did not want to obey to the immoral desires of her pagan father. So he pursued her through the wild mountains and finally located her in a beach hiding in a bush. Her father set fire to the bush enforcing her to reveal herself. She came out and started running praying to the God to tear the ground and shallow her. And so it happened but as it was too late her father beheaded her and threw the head into the sea. At the place of her torment there is a holy water spring and near to it is built a church dedicated to her memory.