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.  He also developed an interest in the Philokalia; the writings of Protestant mystics such as Jung-Stilling and Johann Arndt; Quakerism; and the Russian Bible Society.
In 1818 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 his confessor, Fr. Liverii, introduced him to the practice of 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.
At first Fr. Makarii and his several companions made Biisk their central mission station. In 1831 they relocated to Maima, a village to the south whose location offered various advantages. In 1835 the central station was moved to nearby Ulala (present-day Ngorno-Altaisk).
Fr. Makarii's first convert was one Elesk, an Ulala native who received the baptismal name of Ioann.  According to his records, Fr. Makarii made a total of 675 converts, and baptized 1,047 children (of which 764 were native Altaian and 283 Russian). 
Fr. Makarii established five Christian villages, in which Russian missionary families guided Altaian natives to adopt a sedentary agricultural lifestyle as well as the Orthodox Christian faith. He also founded two schools as well as a hospital. By the onset of World War I, the number of villages had swelled to more than 180, and the number of baptized Altaians to perhaps 40,000, representing 55 percent of the native population. The mission hierarchy grew with corresponding complexity. 
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 Ulala and Maima.
In 1842 he asked to be relieved of his post in Siberia, citing ill 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 May 18, 1847.
- (Ghost-written for Dimitrii Mizko.) 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. [Nekotorye cherty zhizni presov. Iova, arkhiepiskopa ekaterinoslavskogo...sobrannye i ezlozhennye...Dimitriem Mizko.] St. Petersburg, 1826.
- (as "N. Samoilov.") A Historical Description of the Glinsk Hermitage of the Virgin Mary. [Istoricheskoe opisanie Glinskoi bogorodskoi pustyni, sostaoiashchei Kurskoi eparkhii i gubernii v Putivlskom uezde.] Sostevlennoe Nikolaem Samoilovym. St. Petersburg, 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 Tsar Nicholas I 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 text to the Septuagint, and colloquial Russian to Church 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 alphabet, Part Two introduced key prayers and scriptural verses. The work was rejected for publication on similar grounds as the above.
- Unpublished translations of Gregory the Theologian, St. Augustine, John of the Ladder, and other Church Fathers from Greek into Russian. 
- Sermons, 11 of which were published in Supplements to the Works of the Holy Fathers (1848), and with the addition of six 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.
SourcesKharlampovich, 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.) Here cited as AMG:FAM.
- AMG:FAM pp. 72-73.
- AMG:FAM pp. 73-76.
- AMG:FAM pp. 76-77.
- AMG:FAM pp. 39-47; 78-79.
- AMG:FAM pp. 35-39; 77-79.
- AMG:FAM pp. 29,79.
- AMG:FAM pp. 12-21.
- AMG:FAM pp. 81-86.
- AMG:FAM pp. 86-90.
- AMG:FAM pp..
- AMG:FAM pp. 40-42; 90-93.
- AMG:FAM pp. 43-45; 96.
- AMG:FAM pp. 97-101.
- AMG:FAM pp. 105-106.
- AMG:FAM pp. 106-107.
- AMG:FAM pp. 141-142.
- AMG:FAM pp. 63-66.
- AMG:FAM pp. 92.