From Franciscan to a hero
When the French entered Galicia, Andrés Villageliú was the Main Preacher at the convent of Saint Francis. He fled from the monastery a few days prior to the siege of Vigo after trying to enlist into the troops of the Marquis of La Romana, and contacted the Abbot of Valadares, who appointed him as his assistant. He played a lead role in many actions during the occupation by entering and leaving the town under disguise, to carry gunpowder and ammunitions to the rebels.
He participated in the siege of the city and in its takeover on the 27th and 28th of March, 1809. Morillo and the Marquis of Valadares had him in high esteem and this led to him being selected as the emissary for carrying the news of the Reconquest of Vigo to Seville in the ship "Fernando VII", that was chartered for the occasion by a local trader. Upon his return from Seville, he took part in the battle of Ponte Sampaio, wherein he performed a good rearguard action, in which the Franciscan monks manufactured cartridges for the Galician gunmen.
In February 1810, he took office in A Coruña as member of Galician Higher Committee. He was appointed as Lieutenant Coronel in 1810 and joined the Courts of the Supreme Government of Cádiz as one of the 25 commissioners from Galicia.
He decided to abandon his political career in December, 1811, and returned to the convent.
From 1821 to 1823, Villageliú embraced the liberal cause and applied for secularization, whilst publishing many reports in which he criticised the followers of King Fernando VII. However, the blows to liberal principles of the Borbón King and the return of absolute power during the Despicable Decade meant that he had to live through extreme situations.
Villageliú wrote a retraction of all his reports and annulled his decision to give up the cloth. However, despite his reputation and his outstanding performance over the years, he moved to total alienation during his last days as parish priest in a little Ourense village.