About Fr. Margil
Venerable Antonio Margil de Jesus was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded many missions throughout Central America, Mexico, Texas and Louisiana.
Carrying only a prayer book, staff and knapsack of items to say mass, Fr. Margil walked more than 2,500 miles barefoot traversing mountains, jungles and rivers. He established dozens of churches and missions throughout Central America, Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. This servant of God was characterized by his extreme humility and his love of human kind.
The life of a 17th century missionary was anything but quiet and lowly. Although Fr. Margil encountered danger and peril wherever he went, he had unwavering trust in God, steadfast love for his fellow sisters and brothers and joy for his calling. From miles away, the angelic voice of Fr. Margil singing hymns of praise could be heard throughout the countryside. Thousands of Indians and townspeople would follow Fr. Margil just to hear him preach and to witness one of his many miracles.
During his 53 years as a Franciscan priest, Fr. Margil baptized close to 80,000 people of different languages and cultures. Many dignitaries and leaders would call upon this humble friar to restore order and peace in their villages and towns. Despite his notoriety and fame, this meek and lowly servant of God always referred to himself as “La Misma Nada” or “Nothingness itself."
THE LIFE OF FR. ANTONIO MARGIL DE JESUS IS ONE FULL OF MIRACLES, JOY, LOVE AND HOPE.
He was named Venerable by Pope Gregory XI in 1836. He is currently under promotion for the cause of canonization, and several miracles have been attributed to his intercession. Fr. Antonio Margil de Jesus was a true crusader for Christ. His message of humility, service and love of one’s neighbor continues to inspire people today.
The Apostle of Texas
At the age of 60, Fr. Margil embarked on what would be his last and final missionary journey.
Led by the famous Spanish explorer, Domingo Ramon and accompanied by several Franciscan missionaries, Fr. Margil established the following missions in East Texas:
MISSION OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Western Nacogdoches County, Texas
MISSION NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LOS DOLORES DE LOS AIS
San Augustine, Texas
Mission San Jose
San Antonio, Texas
MISSION OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE BY THE BAY
Present day Goliad, Texas
The Eyes of Margil
In the years 1717-1718, a terrible drought had ruined Caddo Indian crops and the Lanana creek and Banita creek ran dry.
On one of his journeys from Nacogdoches to an outlying village, Fr. Margil and his companions were exhausted and thirsted for water. Unable to find water, Fr. Margil took his staff and while striking a rock said, “Fear not, do not be dismayed. Trust in God, for in a short time you shall have water.” From the rock came forth two springs of water which provided enough drink for his companions and fellow Indians. The place is called the “Eyes of Margil,” and water still flows today. The water which quenched the thirst of many during the drought, has also provided spiritual drink for many, and even some purported miracles have been caused by the water.