Julia Greeley

Julia Greeley – between 1833/48 to 1918 (Adapted from Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood, Michael R. Heinlen, editor)


Julia Greeley was born into enslavement in Hannibal, Missouri sometime between the years of 1833 and 1848. Greeley moved to Denver, Colorado around 1878 after gaining her freedom, where she became a housekeeper. During her time as a housekeeper, the small amount of money that she earned was used to care for the impoverished and marginalized people that Greeley encountered. To spare white families the embarrassment of receiving charity from a Black woman, she often carried out her charitable service at night, pulling a red wagon around the streets of Denver to bring necessities like food, water, and coal to families in need. Ms. Greeley was baptized and received into the Catholic Church at the Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart. In 1901, Julia Greeley – or the “angel of Denver” – as she came to be known, professed vows in the Secular Franciscan Order. Greeley remained faithful to her promises until her death in her 80’s.


In January 2014, the Archdiocese of Denver officially opened an investigation for Greeley’s sainthood.


Beatification Prayer for Julia Greeley


Heavenly Father, your servant Julia Greeley dedicated her life to honoring the Sacred Heart of your Son and to the humble service of the poor. Grant to me a generous heart like your Son’s, and if it be in accordance with your holy will, please grant this favor I now ask through Julia’s intercession (insert intention)… I pray this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


To learn more about Julia Greeley, please visit: https://juliagreeley.org/