Born at Valencia, Spain, 18 August, 1657; died at Mexico, 6 Aug., 1726. He entered the Franciscan Order in his native city on 22 April, 1673. After his ordination to the priesthood he volunteered for the Indian missions in America, and arrived at Vera Cruz on 6 June, 1683. He was stationed at the famous missionary college of Santa Cruz, Querétaro, but was generally engaged in reaching missions all over the country, in Yucatán, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and especially in Guatemala, where he merited the name of Apostle of Guatemala. He always walked barefooted, without sandals, fasted every day in the year, never used meat or fish, and applied the discipline as well as other instruments of penance to himself unmercifully. He slept very little, but passed in prayer the greater part of the night, as well as the time allotted for the siesta . The result was that his efforts for the salvation of Indians and colonists were crowned with extraordinary success. On 25 June, 1706, he was appointed first guardian of the newly-erected missionary college of Guadalupe, Zacatecas. In 1716 he led a band of three fathers and two lay-brothers into Texas, and founded the missions of Guadalupe among the Nacogdoches, Dolores among the Ays, and San Miguel among the Adays. When the French destroyed these missions, Father Margil withdrew to the Rio San Antonio, and remained near the present city of San Antonio for more than a year. He then returned with his friars to the scene of his former activity, restored the missions, and even gave his attention to the French settlers in Louisiana. In 1722 he was elected guardian of his college and compelled to leave his beloved Indians. At the close of his term of office he resumed missionary work in Mexico. He died at the capital in the famous Convento Grande de San Francisco, in the odour of sanctity. Gregory XVI in 1836 declared Father Antonio Margil's virtues heroic.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online