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MORAN MOR IGHNATIUS ZAKKA THE FIRST PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST
1980-2014

 

The Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (1933-2014).  The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was the 122nd Successor to St. Peter the Apostle (37AC-67AC) in the Apostolic See of Antioch. The Thrice Blessed Iwas reigned on the Holy See of Antioch between the period 1980-2014+.

  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was born in Mosul – Iraq on the 21st of April 1933 within the faithful family of ‘Iwas’ and was named then ‘Sennacherib’.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, received his education at the well-comportment school at the Al-Tahra Al-Dakhilyah’s Church (Our Lady’s Syrian Orthodox Church) – Then, moved to Mor Touma’s School (St. Thomas School) that is located at our Syrian Orthodox St. Thomas Church.
  • In the year 1946-1947, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, joined the St. Ephraim Theological Seminary in Mosul. 
  • In the year 1954, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, graduated from the Seminary with his Diploma.
  • On the 28th of November 1948, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, was ordained at the rank of Qoroyo (Reader) at the hands of H.E. Mor Deyonosius Jirjes Behnam.
  • On 6th June 1954, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, took the monastic habit at the hands of H.E. Mor Gregorius Boulos Behnam.
  •   On 18th of December 1955, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, was promoted to the rank of full deacon at the hands of H.E. Mor Deyonosius Jirjes Behnam.
  • In the year 1955, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, joined the Patriarchal staff in Homs as an assistant to the Patriarchal Secretary, during the reign of the Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Afram Barsoum the First (1957+).
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was then, appointed as the Private Secretary to the Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Afram Barsoum the First (1957+).
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, went on serving in the capacity of the Private Secretary, and held the same position when the Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Yacoub III (1980+) succeeded the Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Afram Barsoum the First (1957+), following the latter’s departure from this earthly life.
  • On 17th November 1957, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, was promoted to the rank of Priest, at the hands of the Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Yacoub III (1980+).
  • On 15th April 1959, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, was bestowed the honour of becoming eligible to wear the Holy Cross as part of his attire by the Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Yacoub III (1980+).
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, obtained a Diploma in Media Studies from Egypt.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, spent the years 1960-1962 at the General Theological College in New York, U.S.A.  This same college, and following the Thrice Blessed enthronement on the Holy See of Antioch, and in 1983, conferred on the Thrice Blessed Iwas, an Honorary Doctorate in Theology.
  •  The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was an observer at Second Vatican Council before becoming the Archbishop of Mosul.
  • On 17th November 1963, the Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Yacoub III (1980+) promoted the Thrice Blessed Iwas, to the rank of Archbishop under the name of ‘Severius’, with an appointment to run the affairs of the Mosul Parish in Iraq.
  • In the year 1964, and at the time when the Thrice Blessed Iwas, was holding the title of Archbishop in Iraq, he presided on the discovery of the relics of St. Thomas there.
  • In the year 1969, the Thrice Blessed Iwas services were transferred from Mosul to Baghdad and Basra Parish.  The Thrice Blessed Iwas continued to occupy this position until he received the call of the Holy Spirit to become the 122nd Patriarch on the Holy See of Antioch in the year 1980. 
  • In 1976, and through an Apostolic Decree issued by the Thrice Blessed Moran Mor Ignatius Yacoub III (1980+), the responsibilities and the portfolio of the Thrice Blessed Iwas were expanded to include the running of the affairs of the parishes in Middle Europe and Scandinavian Countries.
  • In 1978, the responsibilities and the portfolio of the Thrice Blessed Iwas were expanded further to include the running of the affairs of the Syriac communities in Australia.
  • On 14th September 1980, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, was enthroned on the Holy See of Antioch as the 122nd Successor to St. Peter the Apostle (37AC-67AC) in the Apostolic See of Antioch during a lavish ceremony that was held at St. Georges Cathedral in Damascus – Syria.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was keen to visit and assure himself of the faithfuls’ affairs in their own cities and countries, thus he travelled immensely, conducting several Apostolic visits to diverse parts of the world from the Middle East, to Europe, to the Americas, to India and to Australasia.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was a very well-known figure in the Ecumenical affairs, was known of his involvement in the Ecumenical dialogue.  The Thrice Blessed Iwas, held several positions in the Ecumenical bodies, including the President of the World Council of Churches.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was a prolific author, and left behind several books in dogma, interpretations of the Holy Bible, liturgy and history.  In addition, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, issued several Apostolic Bulls for the guidance of the Syriac Orthodox faithful around the world.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, supervised the publication of the Patriarchal Journal, and thereafter, the Patriarchal website that has worldwide audience.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was known of his immense encouragement of the clergy to always work on the establishment and construction of monasteries, churches and other bodies to provide services for our beloved Syriac Orthodox community members.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was known to lead by example, thus he undertook the establishment of the great project of a Syriac Orthodox Compound in Seydnayah, which he commenced with the establishment of the St. Ephraim Monastery, to which several other buildings including the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, a Youth and Convention Centre were added just to name a few.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was a scholar and was a member of several different prestigious educational councils.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, established the order of Mor Yacoub Burd’ono for Syriac Nuns.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, was known of his humanistic approach to life.  Showed love and respect to all.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, paid several Apostolic visits to Australia.  As for the city of Perth, the Capital of Western Australia, the Thrice Blessed Iwas, visited Perth on two occasions; in 1987, and 1994.
  • In the year 2005, the Holy Syriac Orthodox Church, celebrated the 25th Anniversary ‘The Patriarchal Silver Jubilee’, for reigning on the Holy See of Antioch.  Celebrations were conducted in all parts of the world including by the ‘Small Flock’ in Perth, Western Australia.
  • On 16th November 2013, the Members of the Holy Synod of our Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, held a Choral Evening by the Patriarchal choir St. Aphrem the Syrian, on the occasion and in honour of the Episcopal Golden Jubilee of Thrice Blessed Iwas.
  • Despite the Thrice Blessed Iwas’s ill health, he did not cease to conduct his Apostolic visits to several parishes around the world, celebrating Holy Liturgy, ordaining clergy, and blessing newly constructed churches and other buildings.
  • The Thrice Blessed Iwas, continued his ongoing and extraordinary work until the 21st of March 2014, when he answered the call from God the Almighty, and responded to this call while in Germany.
  • Following the Thrice Blessed Iwas’s departure from this earthly life, several burial prayers were held in farewelling the saintly body:
  • The first burial service was held at St. Yacoub Monastery – Warbug, Germany
  • The second burial service was held at St. Ephraim Church – Beirut, Lebanon
  • The third burial service was held at St. Georges Cathedral – Damascus, Syria
  • The final prayers were held at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral – St. Ephraim Monastery, Ma’arat Seydnaya, Syria
  • Late Friday 28th March 2014, the Saintly Body, the Holy Mortal Remains of our Beloved Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas was placed in the tomb that he supervised its construction at the compound in Maarat Saydnaya underneath the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.

May the prayers and supplications of the Thrice Blessed Iwas be with all of us. Amen.

The Issa Family, Perth, 29th March 2014.

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