The Tree of Crosses

youtube video: courtesy of hapipadi


By: Margaret Galitzin

Fr. Antonio Margil entered the Monastery, changed his ragged habit for a new one, and showed that he knew how to govern with the same zeal and prudence that he showed in his missionary work. He insisted on the exact observance of the Rule and customs of the Order. Every night, after praying the Divine Office, he used to make the Stations of the Cross in the Convent courtyard, and then took a harsh scourging.

On his return one day from preaching a mission in a nearby village, Fr. Margil stuck his walking cane on the ground in the garden of the courtyard adjoining the Monastery. Some days passed, and it was noticed that the cane had begun to sprout and grown into a tree. The miraculous tree produces no flower or fruit, but has a series of small thorns, each in the form of a cross. Each cross, in its turn, presents three smaller thorns that simulate the spikes of the crucifixion.

Persons have tried to plant cuttings from this tree in other places, but they will not grow anywhere else. The tree can still be seen in the monastery courtyard today.

The miraculous tree is a kind of metaphor of the lives of Fr. Margil and so many other early Franciscan missionaries who labored and offered everything for the conversion of the souls of the Indians. Their labors only took root because the missionaries were willing to take up and embrace the difficult crosses in their apostolate. The life of Fr. Antonio Margil was the cross, and only the cross.

To read more about Fr Margil click here.