THE BIOGRAPHY OF H.E. ARCHBISHOP MAKARIOS OF NAIROBI
(Dr. Andreas Tillyrides)
Archbishop Makarios of Kenya was born in 1945 in Limassol (Cyprus), where he completed his elementary and secondary education. He studied theology at St. Sergios Orthodox theological institute in Paris (1968- 1972) and at the same time attended the classes of professors Jean Gouillard (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, in the Sorbonne) and Paul Lemerle (college de France) (1970- 1972) and was named the “eleve titulaire“
In September 1972, he was accepted by the University of Oxford as a post -graduate student under the supervision of the Bishop of Dioklea, KallistosWare. In 1976, he was awarded the title “Doctor of philosophy” by the University of Oxford.
He spent three years at the University of Louvain (Belgium) as a post- doctorate research student(1979- 1982). He taught in the University of St. Barnabas in Nicosia, in secondary schools and for more than 30 years in the Orthodox Patriarchal Seminary, ‘Makarios III, Archbishop of Cyprus’, in Nairobi.
His first acquaintance with the Orthodox in Africa was in January 1977 when he was sent by the late Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus to organize and open the Orthodox Seminary in Nairobi. Since then he has dedicated his time working closely with the Patriarchate of Alexandria, to the development of the Orthodox faith in the African continent.
As a lay-theologian he participated in inter-Ecclesiastical and inter-Orthodox conferences. For more than 40 years, he has been a member of the Anglican-Orthodox doctrinal discussions. He has also been taking part in meetings of the World Council of Churches, Faith and order, Middle East Council of Churches, the Ecclesiastical History Society, the Patristic Conferences in Oxford, Syndesmos, a member of the International official Theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, the Reformed and the Lutherans and many such ecclesiastical groups, conferences and discussions.
On 19 July 1992, he was ordained as deacon in the Church of St. Nicholas and Anastasios in Riruta, Nairobi, by the then Patriarchal Exarch of East Africa, Metropolitan of Accra Mgr. Petros (the late Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa), at which time he was given the new name Makarios. On 20 July 1992, Deacon Makarios was ordained to the priesthood in the Church of St. Makarios, in the patriarchal seminary in Nairobi by the same Patriarchal Exarch. On 25 July 1992, in the same church, he was consecrated as Bishop of Riruta by the Metropolitan of Accra, Petros, assisted by the Metropolitan ofAxum, Petros, and the Bishop of Uganda, Theodoros.
Apart from his native Greek, he also speaks English, French, Russian, Italian, and can also speak and read many African languages. He is the author of hundreds of theological and scientific articles. His studies and writings are concerned mainly with the past and present Ecclesiastical histories of the ancient Patriarchates as well as Cyprus and Russia. He is the current General dean of the Orthodox Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi, where he has served for 35 years, as well as teaching Church History, Hagiology, Patristics, Greek, Missiology, Homeletics and Teleturgics. During his service as Dean of the seminary, he has organized the students in translating the Orthodox services into many African languages. In September 1997, and at the recommendation of the Patriarch of Alexandria, H.B. Petros VII, the Holy Synod appointed him Director of the Patriarchal Library in Alexandria. He has been a member and representative of the patriarchate ofAlexandria in the Orthodox-Anglican discussion for more than 40 years and is presently a member and representative of the patriarchate ofAlexandria in the Orthodox- Roman Catholic discussions.
On 13 January 1998, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria elected him Metropolitan (Archbishop) of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa and in February 2001 he was elected Metropolitan of Kenya and Irinoupolis (Today theArchdiocese of Kenya). He played one of the most important roles in the Archdiocese of Kenya; that of re-uniting once more the divided Kenyan Church for over 30 years, a division which ended officially on 19 January, 2004.On 14th October 2017, he was given the title of Elder (Yierondas) by Patriarch Theodoros II.