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."

 
 
What would the angels be without God? Nothing. What would Mary Most Holy be without God? Nothing. What would the humanity of Christ be without God? Nothing.

Without God, in fact, all of us are nothing, nothing, nothing!
— Fr. Antonio Margil de Jesus
 
 
 

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

 
Asset 1.png
 

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:

 

 

1716

MISSION OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

Nacogdoches, Texas

MISSION CONCEPCION

Western Nacogdoches County, Texas

1717

MISSION NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LOS DOLORES DE LOS AIS

San Augustine, Texas

1720

Mission San Jose

San Antonio, Texas

1722

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.