Antonio Cuipa and Companions, January 26, 1704, Apalachee Province

Names:                 Antonio Cuipa or Antonio Enija (Apalachee),

                             Cui Domingo (Apalachee),

                             Francisco El Chiquito (aka Feliciano) (Apalachee),

                             Fernando (Apalachee)

                             Fr. Juan de Parga Araujo, O.F.M. (Province of Santiago, Galicia)

Date:                    January 26, 1704

Place:                   La Concepción de Ayubale, Apalachee Province (Tallahassee)

The lead martyr Antonio was an Apalachee Indian. He was a layman—a husband, father, chief, and catechist. He was a carpenter, and he was devoted to St. Joseph. He was a skilled musician (a guitarist as well as a craftsman of flutes). He was also an evangelist, whose zeal and joy brought many native persons to Christianity.

Antonio’s life would end tied to a cross at the mission of La Concepción de Ayubale, where the English led a brutal attack.  Antonio was mocked for his faith and tortured with a fire burning under his feet for many hours.  Near the end, Antonio cried out from the cross.  The Virgin appeared to him at his side!  It was her eyes looking into his, he said, that gave him courage to endure his martyrdom.  His last words were that his body would fall to the earth, but that his soul was going to God. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ©2017 Martyrs of La Florida Missions

Apalachee Indians Francisco El Chiquito and the Panther (Cui Domingo) were also killed tied to crosses and ridiculed for their faith.  In order to mock the short height of Francisco El Chiquito, the Creek cut his legs off.  The martyr responded that it was fine to do so – he didn’t need legs – because the angels would bring him into Paradise.

Fr. Juan Parga voluntarily accompanied the force that included Antonio, El Chiquito and the Panther to come to the aid of the people at Ayubale.  Before leaving Fr. Parga’s mission, San Pedro y San Pablo de Patale, Fr. Parga, a gifted preacher, spoke several hours to the faithful, emphasizing to them that the defense 

of Ayubale was defending the very law of God.  Further, anticipating the martyrdoms, Fr. Parga said that this day will be “a day of great rejoicing.”

Although many times the faithful attempted to persuade Father Parga to remain at the Patale mission for his safety, he insisted on joining the mission under siege, for the encouragement of the faithful.   Father said that he “must go and die with his children.”

There was another prominent chief, Fernando, who, following a blow to the head at Ayubale, was thought to be dead.  When he regained consciousness, he was taken prisoner by the Creek, and then killed shortly thereafter when he refused to deny the Cross and spit on it.

“…he said that if they brought him a Cross he would pray before it to ask God our Lord that they would cease making raids and killing people… and would convert to the religion and to the Holy Church of Jesus Christ, and would listen to the words of the missionaries and thus leave their idols that are nothing but devils that deceive and dominate them, so that when they died they could be with God and the angels in his Kingdom