His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I was born on April 21, 1933 into the faithful family of ‘Iwas’ in Mosul, Iraq. He joined the St. Ephrem Theological Seminary in Mosul in 1946 at the age of 13.
On November 28, 1948, young Zakka was ordained ‘Koroyoo’ (Deacon) by H. E. Mor Athanasius Touma Kasseer and on February 8, 1953, he was elevated to the rank of ‘Afodyaknoh’ (Half Deacon) by H.E. Mor Gregorios Paulos Behnam. On June 6, 1954 Mor Gregorios Paulos Behnam ordained him as Rabban (monk).
On November 17, 1963, Rabban Zakka was ordained Metropolitan by the Patriarch Mor Ya`qub III for the Mosul Archbishopric with title ‘Severious’. Thus he came to be known as Mor Severios Zakka.
On June 26, 1980, the Patriarch Mor Ya`qub III passed away and the Holy Synod unanimously elected Mor Severios Zakka, Archbishop of Baghdad and Basra as the new Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.
On September 14, 1980, Mor Severios was installed as the 122nd Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, by name Ignatius Zakka I.