The second son of Chorepiscopus Abraham and Maryam, he was born in Mardin and christened Nasri. He had four brothers and three sisters. After the death of his mother, Nasri was raised in the care of his elder sister Helena. He worked as a shoemaker in his teens and worked for the government for three months. At Patriarch Ignatius Peter IV's direction, Nasri joined the theological school in the name of the forty martyrs.
Read more about this topic: Ignatius Elias III
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“... goodness is of a modest nature, easily discouraged, and when much elbowed in early life by unabashed vices, is apt to retire into extreme privacy, so that it is more easily believed in by those who construct a selfish old gentleman theoretically, than by those who form the narrower judgments based on his personal acquaintance.”
—George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian)