St. Isidoros

The chapel of St Isidoros can be found near a large stone to the east of the “Arvanos” seasonal stream which empties into the sea at the beach. It’s been built atop the ruins of an early Christian church, and its architectural elements were once visible but have since been covered with mortar.
The size and grandeur of the early Christian temple are indicated by the surviving capitals with relief decoration and the columns of red and white marble. This type of marble was not locally sourced, which means it had to have been brought from elsewhere for the construction of the church.
St Isidoros, who was martyred on Chios in 255 A.D., is a beloved saint here. According to the story, his executioners tied him to two horses and dragged him through the rough, thorny environs of the island. His tears of agony are said to be the origin of the mastic resin Chios is famous for. Tourists can visit St Isidoros’ cenotaph: it’s housed in a 5th-century basilica close to the Skylitseion Hospital, together with the tomb of St Merope. The relic of the saint was stolen in 1125 by the monk Gerbanus Gerbani, who delivered it to St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. Italy returned a section of the relic in 1967, which has since then been kept at the Metropolis of Chios. The church of St Isidoros celebrates on 14 May.

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