His Beatitude Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans was born in Zākhō, Iraq, on 4 July 1948.
He completed his primary studies in Mosul, and then attended the local Saint Jean’s Seminary, held by the Dominican Fathers.
He was ordained a priest on 1 June 1974, and carried out his pastoral service at the Cathedral of Mosul until 1979.
He was sent to Rome, where he attended the Pontifical Oriental Institute, obtaining a doctorate in Eastern patrology. He subsequently obtained a doctorate in history from the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1997 to 2002 he held the office of rector of the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad. Upon returning to Mosul he guided the parish of Perpetual Help until his election as archbishop of Kerkūk on 27 September 2003.
He received episcopal ordination the following 14 November.
On 31 January 2013, during the Synod convened in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI after the resignation of the Patriarch His Beatitude Cardinal Delly, he was elected Patriarch, receiving the Ecclesiastical Communio from the same Supreme Pontiff on 1 February; rendered public with the Eucharistic Celebration in the Vatican Basilica on 4 February.
On 14 July 2018, the Holy Father Francis appointed him President Delegate of the XV Ordinary General Assembly on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment (October 2018).
He has published books on the Church Fathers, and numerous articles.
In addition to Arabic and Chaldean, he knows German and speaks French, English and Italian.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 28 June 2018.
- Congregation for the Oriental Churches.