Francisco Suárez was born on 5 January 1548 in Granada, Spain. At the age of thirteen he set out with his older brother to the University of Salamanca, where he began his studies in canon law. After three years, on 16 June 1564, he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), which had been founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1540. He was ordained a priest in 1572. Suárez taught philosophy and theology for forty-four years at some of the most prestigious international universities of his time: Avila (1571), Segovia (1575), Valladolid (1576), Rome (1580–85), Alcalá (1585–92), Salamanca (1592–7) and Coimbra (1597–1616). He died in Lisbon on 25 September 1617. He was nicknamed Doctor eximius et pius (Most exalted and pious teacher) by Pope Paul V.
Suárez was a prolific writer and his Opera omnia consists of twenty-six volumes. A list of his most notable publications include (in chronological order): De mysteriis vitae Christi (On the mysteries of the life of Christ; 1592); De sacramentis I and II (On the sacraments; 1595/1602); Disputationes metaphysicae (Metaphyscial disputations; 1597); De censuris (On censures; 1603); De Deo uno et trino (On God, one and triune; 1606); De virtute et statu religionis I and II (On the virtue and state of religion; 1608/9); De legibus (On laws; 1612); and Defensio fidei catholicae (Defence of the Catholic faith; 1613).