Margil De Jesús, Antonio
MARGIL DE JESÚS, ANTONIO (1657–1726). Antonio Margil de Jesús, early missionary to Texas, was born in Valencia, Spain, on August 18, 1657. His parents, Juan Margil and Esperanza Ros, were poor parishioners of the church of San Juan del Mercado. The parents also had two daughters. Margil attended school, where he demonstrated a peaceful and gentle demeanor and distinguished himself by his abject humility. Even as a boy he referred to himself as “Nothingness Itself,” a title consistently used by him in adulthood. In his early teens Margil expressed his desire to become a Franciscan. On April 22, 1673, he received the order’s habit at La Corona de Cristo in Valencia. Further education included the study of philosophy and theology. At the age of twenty-five he received Holy Orders and soon accepted the challenge of missionary work in New Spain. He departed Spain on March 4, 1683, and arrived at Veracruz on June 6.