Father Anthony Margil - A soul which was ‘so inflamed with the love of God’ that he levitated
Type of Spiritual Experience
Friar Herbert Thurston was a Catholic priest, a member of the Jesuit order and an historian. He wrote extensively on Catholic mysticism and psychic phenomena and was a member of the Society for Psychical Research. He was also widely read on this subject. He is described as ‘an honest skeptic’., and once said ‘the role of Devil’s advocate is a thankless one and does not make for popularity’.
A description of the experience
Friar Herbert Thurston - The Physical Phenomenon of Mysticism
A soul which was so inflamed with the love of God could not fail to be constantly absorbed by celestial delights and ravished out of itself in the ecstasies which are the ordinary privilege of Christ’s holy servants.
Of these happy transports he had familiar experience, and very often it happened that his soul in the vehemence of its flight towards God carried with it heavenwards the dead weight of the body, so that he was actually raised from the ground. Father Simon de Hierro, who was long his companion, deposed to having seen him many times in great raptures while he prayed.
Maria Treio watched him praying at Adaes five or six inches above the earth, and John de Armiso saw him in the same district raised nearly a foot in the air while he was saying Mass. In Mexico on one occasion, having been admitted into the convent of the Poor Clares to hear a sick nun’s confession, he was lifted a couple of feet from the floor as he exhorted his penitent to practise conformity with the divine will.
Rose de Rivera in the same city related that more than once the good Father, on passing through her garden and meditating on the perfections of God who had created such beautiful flowers, began to cry out:
and as he said this his whole body was raised from the ground. Further it was there also, in the great priory dedicated to St. Francis, that Brother Jerome Garzia, early one morning, when he was calling the religious to rise for Matins, felt a violent draught blowing through the choir and apparently coming from the direction of the church tower. Looking to discover the cause, he found the servant of God raised in the air with arms extended in the form of a cross, gyrating round and round with incredible velocity.
In Guatemala Father Joseph Paniagua saw him radiant with celestial glory, while John of Jesus Surraine Birriesa, having had occasion one night to look for him in the church, found him there suspended so high above the ground that the skirts of his habit brushed the intruders head. Moreover, the same witness, on another occasion, whilst serving his Mass, having noticed that the whole altar was shaking after the consecration, raised his eyes to the celebrant and saw that he was lifted a foot and a half from the predella. He was so dazed by what he had witnessed that the holy priest when he came out of his ecstasy had to bang his hand against the altar to rouse his server to attend to his duties.