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Macarius of Optina

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In 1802, Michael and his brother Alexis began working as assistant bookkeepers with the District Treasury of Lgov. Having gained a reputation for accuracy he was appointed head of the Financial Board in Kursk in 1805. On [[March 17]], 1806, his father died and was buried near the parish church of Turischev. In October 1810, Michael visited the Ploschansky Hermitage from which he wrote to his brothers that he was leaving the family estate to them as he intended to remain at the hermitage with the condition that they were to donate 1000 rubles to build a stone church at Turischev where their father was buried.
Within a month of entering the monastery, Michael had become a [[novice]]. His [[tonsure]] as a rassophore [[monk]] followed on [[December 24]], 1810 with the name Melchizedek. In early 1815, Fr. Paul, who had received his tonsure at [[Mount Athos]], became the Superior of Ploschansky. He soon noticed Melchizedek's zeal for the [[monasticismonasticism|monastic]] life, and for fulfilling his obediences. On [[March 7]], 1815, Fr. Paul tonsured him a monk with the new name Macarius. Then, on [[March 12]], Bishop Dositheus of Orel and Sevsk [[ordination|ordained]] Fr. Macarius as a hierodeacon.
In 1817, Schemamonk Athanasius (Zakharov), a [[disciple]] of St. [[Paisius Velichkovsky]], returned to Ploschansky Monastery, where he had previously injured himself, to further recuperate and live. Fr. Athanasius had lived for seven years in the [[Neamts Monastery]], where he was tonsured by St. Paisius Velichkovsky. Fr. Macarius was assigned to his [[cell]] to take care of him. The Elder Athanasius had a great influence on the spiritual development of Fr. Macarius, who revered him as his father and teacher. Fr. Athanasius lived at Ploschansky for ten years, and Fr. Macarius derived much benefit from his Elder's example before he died in the arms of Fr. Macarius on [[October 17]], 1825.

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