Nicolás Mascardi

Nicolás Mascardi (Spanish pronunciation: [nikoˈlas masˈkaɾði]; Rome, 1625 – † Patagonia, 1673) was a Ligurian Jesuit priest and missionary in South America in the 17th century. He arrived to Chile in 1651. While active in Araucanía he gained notoriety for the exorcisms he practised among the Mapuches.[1]

Nicolás Mascardi depicted in the Cathedral of Bariloche

In 1662 Mascardi went on an expedition south of Chiloé Archipelago, where Jesuits had been established for about fifty years, arriving to Guaitecas Archipelago where he built a church.[2]

In 1669 he crossed the Andes from Chiloé Archipelago and established a mission on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake which lasted until his death. From the mission he and his fellow Jesuits engaged in missionary activity among the Poyas, Pehuenches and Puelches. He died in 1673 after being attacked by native Poyas during one of his exploration trips in the southern Andes.[3] Villa Mascardi and Mascardi Lake in present-day Argentina are named after him.


  1. ^ Pinto Rodríguez, Jorge (1993). "Jesuitas, Franciscanos y Capuchinos italianos en la Araucanía (1600-1900)". Revista Complutense de Historia de América (in Spanish). 19: 109–147. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  2. ^ Sepúlveda Ortíz, Jorge. "Exploraciones efectuadas en la región de Trapananda antes del siglo XIX" (PDF). Boletín de la Academia de Historia Naval y Marítima de Chile: 95–110. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  3. ^ Urbina, M. Ximena (2008). "La frustrada misión estratégica de Nahuelhuapi, un punto en la inmesidad de la Patagonia" [The frustrated strategic mission of Nahuelhuapi, a point in Patagonia's inmensity]. Magallania (in Spanish). 36 (1): 5–30. Retrieved 26 April 2013.


  • Biedma, Juan Martín, Crónica histórica del Lago Nahuel Huapi, Ed. Del Nuevo Extremo – Caleuche, Bariloche, 2003.
  • Furlong, Guillermo, Entre los tehuelches de la Patagonia, Ed. San Pablo, Bs. As., 1943.