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Margil de Jesús, Antonio (1657–1726)

Margil de Jesús, Antonio (1657–1726)

Antonio Margil de Jesús (b. 18 August 1657; d. 6 August 1726), missionary and founder of missionary colleges in Guatemala and New Spain. A native of Valencia, Spain, Antonio Margil was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1682 and the following year volunteered for service in New Spain. Shortly after his arrival in the New World, he was sent to Central America, where he served in Yucatán, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua from 1684 to 1697. In 1701, during a second tour in Guatemala, he founded the Colegio de Cristo Crucificado, a missionary college.

Following his appointment as guardian of the new missionary college of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas in 1706, Margil spent the remainder of his life working in northern New Spain. From his base at the college, he conducted missionary activity among both Spanish and Indian populations of Nayarit, Nueva Galicia, Zacatecas, Nuevo León, and Coahuila. He participated in the permanent occupation of Texas, founding three missions in the eastern part of the province in 1716–1717 and another in San Antonio in 1720.

See alsoCatholic Church: The Colonial Period .


Peter P. Forrestal, "The Venerable Padre Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús," in Preliminary Studies of the Texas Catholic Historical Society 2, no. 2 (1932).

Eduardo E. Ríos, Fr. Margil de Jesús, apóstol de América (1955).

Additional Bibliography

Arricivita, Juan Domingo, and Vivian C. Fisher. Apostolic Chronicle of Juan Domingo Arricivita: The Franciscan Mission Frontier in the Eighteenth Century in Arizona, Texas, and the Californias. Berkeley, CA: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1996.

                                   JesÚs F. de la Teja

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