Macarius (Glukharyov)

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Blessed Archimandrite Makarii Glukharev (1792-1847) was Russian hieromonk who founded the Altai mission in 1830. In the year 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church glorified him as a saint (prepodobnyi).

Early life

Fr. Makarii--nee Mikhail--was born 30 October 1792 in Viaz'ma (Smolensk Province), to Iakov and Agafiia Glukharev. He also had a younger brother, Aleksei.

His father being a priest, Mikhail studied at theological schools in Smolensk, then enrolled in the St. Petersburg Academy, where he studied from 1813 to 1817. At this time he met his future spiritual father, Filaret, later Metropolitan of Moscow.

The following year Makarii (as he was now called) was tonsured as a monk, ordained as a priest, and enrolled at the Lavra of the Caves in Kiev. In 1821 he transferred to Kostroma Seminary, where he received the rank of archimandrite. At this time, on the recommendation of his confessor, Fr. Liverii, he began practicing hesychasm. He also met St. Seraphim of Sarov, who had just emerged from forty years of seclusion.

Fr. Makarii left Kostroma in 1824, apparently out of a desire for the cenobitic life, coupled with frustration over his administrative role. He eventually settled in the Glinsk Hermitage in Putivl village, near Kursk. There he conceived of the idea of becoming a missionary to Siberia.

Altai mission

In 1829 Fr. Makarii's application to become a missionary priest to Siberia was accepted, and he left for Tobolsk. The following year he moved to Biisk as superior of a new Altai mission.

Last years

Between 1839 and 1840, Fr. Makarii departed the Altai for a fund-raising tour of several Russian cities. Funds thus raised were sufficient to finance boys' and girls' schools in the Altaian villages of Ulala and Maima.

In 1842 he asked to be relieved of his post in Siberia, citing his health. Rather than the hoped-for permission to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, however, Fr. Makarii instead received appointment as abbot of Bolkov Monastery (Orlov diocese).

In 1844, Fr. Makarii finally departed the Altai, leaving newly-ordained Fr. Stefan Vasil'evich Landyshev as his successor. He died in Bolkhov on 18 May 1847.


  • Some Aspects of the Life of the late Right Reverend Iov, Archbishop of Ekaterinoslav, Kherson and Tavria, collected and set forth by a Principal of Ekaterinoslav District Schools, Dimitrii Mizko. 1826.
  • (as "N. Samoilov.") A Historical Description of the Glinsk Hermitage of the Virgin Mary. 1835.
  • Thoughts on the Means for the More Successful Extension of the Christian Faith among Jews, Mohammedans, and Pagans in the Russian Empire. [Mysli o sposobakh k uspeshnomu rasprostraneniiu khristianskoi very mezhdu evreiami, magometanami i iasychnikami v Rossiiskoi derzhave.] 1839. Open letter to the emperor and the Holy Synod.
  • Bible translations from Hebrew to Russian. Fr. Makarii began his translation of the Old Testament in 1837, and worked on it all his life. He was disciplined for preferring the Masoretic Hebrew to the Slavonic, and also for translating into colloquial Russian (again as opposed to Slavonic). His incomplete translation was finally published in the 1860's, more than a decade after his death.
  • The Alphabet Bible. Theological teaching aid in four parts, intended for native Altaian converts. In Russian, c. 1842. Only the forward is extant. Fr. Makarrii received criticism for this work, which was said to reflect his "lack of humility" in interpreting scripture.
  • Elementary Doctrine for People Studying the Books of the Holy Bible. Unpublished, composed c. 1842. In two parts: Part One introduced the Cyrillic alphabe, Part Two introduced key prayers and scriptural verses. The work was rejected for publication on similar grounds as the above.
  • Sermons, 11 of which were published in Supplements to the Works of the Holy Fathers (1848), and with the addition of 6 more sermons, as the book Some Sermons of the Late Archimandrite Makarii, Superior of Altai Mission Church (1854).
  • A book of poetry, Lepta, for the benefit of the Altai mission. [Lepta v pol'zu Tserkovnoi altaiskoi misii.] Moscow, 1846.
  • Various letters. The most complete collection is that of Kharlampovich, who edited a volume containing 305 letters, arranged thematically.


Kharlampovich, Konstantin Vasil'evich, and James Lawton Haney (translator and editor). Archimandrite Makarii Glukharev--Founder of the Altai Mission. Edwin Mellon Press, 2001. (Volume 6 in the series Studies in Russian History.)