Patriarch Stéphanos II Ghattas was born in Cheick Zein-el-Dine (Egypt) on 16 January 1920. He joined the Congregation of the Mission in Paris in 1944 and was ordained on 25 March 1944 in Rome. He worked in the missions in Lebanon and Egypt for 15 years. He was appointed bishop of Luqsor of the Copts on 8 May 1967 and consecrated as bishop on 9 June 1967 in Alexandria by Cardinal Stéphanos I Sidarouus, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts. He was elected patriarch himself on 8 June 1986. Pope John Paul granted him the "ecclesiastica communio"on 23 June 1986.