Mrak was born in the small village of Hotovlja in Upper Carniola, a province of the Duchy of Carniola, part of the Austrian Empire (now in Slovenia). He studied philosophy at Ljubljana and then studied at the diocesan seminary in the same town. On August 13, 1837 he was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Ljubljana, Anton Aloys Wolf.
In 1845 Mrak moved to the United States. He first settled in Michigan with his fellow Slovenian, the Rev. Francis Xavier Pierz. In 1851 he moved to Minnesota, where he stayed until 1869, when he was appointed Bishop of Sault Sainte Marie and Marquette, succeeding Frederic Baraga.
- Gilmary, John (1892). The Defenders of Our Faith. New York: Office of Catholic Publications. p. 291.
- Ceglar, Charles A. (1992). Baragiana. Hamilton, Ontario: Baragiana Publishing. p. 300.
- Savnik, Roman, ed. (1968). Krajevni leksikon Slovenij. vol. 1. Ljubljana: Državna založba Slovenije. p. 362.
- "Ignatius Mrak". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
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