St Makarios the Martyr was a disciple of St Niphon, three times Patriarch of Constantinople. After the second retirement of St Niphon from the patriarchal throne, Makarios accompanied him to the principalities of Hungary and Wallachia, on the invitation of Prince Rados and with the permission of the Sultan, in order to help his teacher in the re-organisation of church affairs there.
Folowing a disagreement between St Niphon and the ruler of Hungary-Wallachia, Makarios returned with the former to the Holy Mountain (1505), settling for a while at the Monastery of Vatopaidi, with which the former Patriarch had spiritual ties. It was during their stay at Vatopaidi that St Makarios, whose heart burned with the desire for martyrdom, revealed to St Niphon that he wished to end his life as a martyr. St Niphon, perceiving the magnititude of the virtue and the genuineness of the desire of his disciple, blessed him with the sign of the cross, saying: “Go, my child, on the way of martyrdom, and you will be counted worthy, as you desire, to receive the martyr’s crown, that you may rejoice eternally with the martyrs and the saints”.
St Niphon’s prophesy was fulfilled. Makarios went to Thessaloniki and openly preached Christ to the Ottomans. He was arrested by the Turks and mercilessly tortured before being beheaded. When St Niphon learnt the same day by the Holy Spirit of these happenings, he said to another of his disciples, a spiritual brother of St Makarios, Ioasaph, whom he had also taken with him to the principalities of Hungary and Wallachia and to the Holy Mountain: “Know, my child, that today your brother Makarios has ended his life with martyrdom and rejoices eternally in the heavens”. The feast day of St Makarios is observed on 14 September21.