Servant of God Julia Greeley, Born a Suffering Slave Child

“Julia Greeley, Denver’s Angel of Charity, was born into slavery at Hannibal, Missouri, sometime between 1833 and 1848. While she was still a young child, a cruel slave master, in the course of beating her mother, caught Julia’s right eye with his whip and destroyed it.” This photo of Julia Greeley is the only known one in existence.

This monstrous cruelty of the ‘slave master’ provides basis for the racism of our day. No doubt.

But … any one of us is capable of evil due to the ravages created in the soul of man by original sin.

There is a cure. It is in turning to God for help. Julia Greeley turned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus where she found love which consumed the lonesomeness, the sorrow, the despair … which had swept over her being at times.

The Servant of God, on the stairway to Sainthood in the Catholic Church, was a familiar sight on the streets of Denver in the late 1800 and early 1900’s. Wearing a floppy hat, oversized shoes, and dabbing her bad eye with a handkerchief, she was often seen pulling her red wagon of goods to deliver to the poor and homeless of the city. She had a particularly special devotion to the Sacred Heart, and every month would deliver on foot, images of the Sacred Heart and information about prayer to the firefighters throughout Denver.

THE BOOK: The most thorough compilation of the facts of Julia Greeley’s life have been published in a new book by Father Blaine Burkey, O.F.M. Cap. The Book, In Service of the Sacred Heart: The Life and Virtues of Julia Greeley, recalls the memorable stories and events of this remarkable woman by those who know her best.

The book is now available for purchase in various ways:

  1. Pick up in person at a Denver Catholic book store or the Capuchin Provincial Offices (3613 Wyandot St.)
  2. Order by mail from the Julia Greeley Guild Immaculate Conception Cathedral, 1535 N. Logan St. Denver, CO 80203-1913 Enclose check for 20.00 This will cover the cost of the book, sales tax, and domestic shipping. official website of the Julia Greeley Guild