Makarios II

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Makarios II was Archbishop of Cyprus from 1948 until 1950.

Makarios was born Michail Charalambous Papaioannou in Prodromos, Lemesos province, in 1870. In 1895, he was ordained a deacon and left Cyprus to further his studies. He studied at the Great School of the Nation in Istanbul before entering the Seminary of Chalki.

In 1912, he enlisted in the Greek Army and served as chaplain during the Balkan Wars. On March 20, 1917, he was elected Archbishop of Kyrenia.

After the disturbances of October 1931, Makarios was exiled by the British. He settled in Pangrati, Athens and spent the Second World War there. He returned to Cyprus on December 22, 1946.

Makarios was elected Archbishop of Cyprus, without an opponent, on December 24, 1947, despite the opposition of the political left for his staunch pro-Enosis stand. To this end Makarios came up with the idea of a Church-held referendum throughout Cyprus on January 15, 1950 which showed that 97% of the electorate favoured Enosis.

He died on June 28, 1950 and was succeeded by Makarios III - the future President.