Gregory Thomas Suárez
Augustinian Servant of God
Gregory Thomas Suárez (1915-1949) was an Augustinian scholar and teacher also known for his exemplary life and deep spirituality.
The tenth of 11 children, Gregory was born in 1915 in Cortina, Asturias, Spain. He was raised in a family of hard-working laborers. As a child he was energetic and religious and a bright student.
He always wanted to become an Augustinian, and he entered the Order in 1930 at Valladolid.
He studied Philosophy in Valladolid and in Zaragoza. He was sent to Rome to continue his studies, and was ordained a Priest in 1938.
After his ordination, he was named Assistant Director of Students at the Augustinian International College of Saint Monica, Rome. At the same time, he studied at the Gregorian University, earning a Licenciate Degree in Theology with High Honors in 1939 and a Licenciate in Philosophy in 1941.
He then returned to Spain, where he was part of the Reform Movement for the houses of formation of the Augustinian Province of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Gregory taught Theology and Philosophy and directed the programs of Augustinian formation in Zaragoza, Valladolid and Valencia de Don Juan from 1941 to 1947. While carrying out these duties, he found time to earn a Doctorate in Philosophy in 1946.
At the insistence of the Bishop of Salamanca, Gregory joined the faculty of the Pontifical University of Salamanca in 1947.
Throughout his teaching career, Gregory was highly respected by his colleagues and students alike. He was a very competent professor. He knew how to relate well to all kinds of people. His personal life was exemplary. He always seemed to have a smile on his lips. He made himself available to help whomever needed assistance. His spirituality was deep. His desire was to transmit to his students the spirit of Saint Augustine and to form all in Christ.
Gregory developed tuberculosis, which caused his death April 23, 1949. He was only 34. He was first buried in the cemetery of Saint Steven Monastery, Salamanca. His remains were moved in 1976 to the Augustinian monastery at Valladolid.
The cause for his beatification and canonization began in 1982. The diocesan investigation in Valladolid, which also included inquiries in Salamanca, Oveido, Jerusalem, Rome, Cebu City and Lima, was concluded in 1984. The Congregation of Saints recognized the validity of the cause in 1991. Josef Sciberras, O.S.A., the Augustinian Postulator of Causes, oversees the progress of the cause.