Metropolitan Philip was born on June 10, 1931, in
Abou Mizan, Lebanon, the fourth of five children to Elias and
Saleema Saliba. After completing his primary education at the
Shouier Elementary School, he entered the Balamand Orthodox
Seminary, near Tripoli, Lebanon, at the age of fourteen. He
subsequently attended and was graduated from the Orthodox Secondary
School in Homs, Syria, and the Assiyeh Orthodox College in Damascus,
Ordained to the holy diaconate in 1949, he was assigned to serve as
secretary to His Beatitude, Alexander III (Tahan), the Patriarch of
Antioch and all the East. In 1952, he was appointed lecturer in
Arabic language and literature and student advisor at the Balamand
While a deacon, Metropolitan Philip was awarded a scholarship and
invitation to undertake studies in Great Britain at the Kelham
Theological School and the University of London. In 1956, he arrived
in the United States and enrolled at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox
School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. Assigned to a
position at St. George Church in Detroit, Michigan, he entered Wayne
State University from which he was graduated with a Bachelor of Arts
degree in 1959.
One of his most important roles in the Antiochian Orthodox Church is
to make appointments of priests to oversee congregations and
churches in the Orthodox Community in North America.
Father Saliba will be greatly missed by the Orthodox Church, the
Christian Arab community.