Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas passes away

Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
The head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Moran Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, has passed away.

The end came in a German hospital where he was admitted for treatment. He suffered a massive heart attack. He was 81.

Mar Ignatius was the 122nd reigning Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and, as such, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. He became the patriarch on September 14, 1980, in St. George’s Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus.

Known for his involvement in ecumenical dialogue, he was a prolific author. He was an observer at Second Vatican Council before becoming Metropolitan Bishop of Mosul. At the time of his election as patriarch, he had been Archbishop of Baghdad and Basra.

Mar Ignatius was born on April 21, 1933, in Mosul, Iraq. In 1946, he began his theological studies in the city’s Mor Ephrem seminary and took monastic vows in 1954.

On November 17, 1957, he was ordained as a priest and, two years later, was given the pectoral cross as Ramban.

On November 17, 1963, he was ordained as Metropolitan Bishop of Mosul.

Following the death of Patriarch Yaqub III on June 25, 1980, Mar Ignatius was elected by the Synod of the Church to be the 122nd Syriac Patriarch of Antioch. He was enthroned as Patriarch on September 14, 1980, in Damascus