Fr. Macary was born in 1972 in the city of Vorkuta to a family of geologists. After high school he entered Leningrad State University, where he studied art history. One day he went to visit Archpriest Nicholai Guryanov on Zalit Island, and the elder showed him his path to salvation—a monastery.
Even as a youth, Ivan often visited the Pskov-Caves Monastery. Later he went to live there, fulfilling his obedience in the cattle barn and doing other domestic chores for two years. His stories about this period of his life were filled with vivid recollections of his first steps in religious life. He always remembered his monastic brothers there with great warmth and gratefulness.
When in 1995 a podvorye of the Pskov-Caves Monastery was opened in Moscow, Ivan came there as one of its first novices. He labored for a while in the monastery’s publishing house, and was greatly responsible for building up its professional staff.
He was ordained a deacon soon after his tonsure, and in 2000, on the feast of the Meeting of the Vladimir Mother of God (the monastery’s patronal feast) he was awarded the double orarion by Patriarch Alexei II. Fr. Makary was a remarkable deacon, and his prayerful service adorned each Vigil Service and festal Liturgy in Sretensky Monastery. His voice was full and strong, and his every pronouncement and reading was solemn and festal.
Fr. Makary was beloved by all because he himself loved everyone and never nursed any grudges for anything; no one was ever intentionally hurt by Fr. Makary. He was joyful, with a sharp wit and excellent sense of humor—just a word from him was enough to lift your spirits.
In blessed repose, grant O Lord eternal rest to Thy faithful servant, our newly-reposed brother Hierodeacon Makary!
Archimandrite Tikhon and the brothers of Sretensky Monastery