Servant of God Julia Greeley: A Name Written in the Sacred Heart

 Servant of God Julia Greeley: A Name Written in the Sacred Heart  Servant of God Julia Greeley: A Name Written in the Sacred Heart

Some months back, I got an e-mail from a good friend asking for prayers.

““ Please wish my sister-in-law,” ” the e-mail “stated. “ She remains in a caused coma with liver failure.” ” It was an abrupt disease, and it didn’’ t appear like she would endure. Her household still had hope.

““ We are wishing the intercession of Julia Greeley,” ” my pal composed.


Who is Julia Greeley? I questioned as I check out the e-mail. I had actually never ever become aware of her in the past. Her story caught my heart when I looked her up.

. Who is Julia Greeley?

In her huge, floppy black hat and old black gown, pulling a little red wagon behind her, Julia Greeley was a familiar sight on the streets of Denver in the early 1900s.

If you had actually shown up there and seen her, ““ you well may have misinterpreted Julia for a typical bag girl,” ” Fr. Blaine Burkey, O.F.M. Cap. composes in his book, In Secret Service of the Sacred Heart: The Life and Virtues of Julia Greeley. ““ … You remained in for a huge surprise, nevertheless, when you discovered who Julia Greeley actually was.””


Julia was an ex-slave, and had actually transferred to Colorado to work as a servant. She cleaned up homes, viewed kids, and prepared for households. Individuals called her ““ Old Julia, ” though she never ever understood how old she in fact was, since nobody ever informed her precisely when she was born (it was at some point in between 1833 and 1848.)

 Servant of God Julia Greeley: A Name Written in the Sacred Heart The just recognized picture of Julia Greeley.

The little red wagon she pulled was generally filled with food, coal, fire wood, and utilized clothes. A few of these products, she purchased with her own weak earnings. What she couldn’’ t manage to purchase, she pled for.

But the important things Julia gathered in her wagon were not for herself. In the daytime, she collected the products; in the dark of night, she provided them to households in requirement. Regardless of her own hardship, Julia was acutely knowledgeable about the requirements of the most destitute households in Denver, and she considered it her ““ delight ” to assist them by leaving contributions on their doorsteps.

Julia was likewise really knowledgeable about how awkward it may be for these households to be seen getting charity from her. That’’ s why she waited up until nightfall to make her shipments in trick. Night after night, she hopped for miles on arthritic legs, leaving presents on patios, hobbling through streets in order to remain concealed.

In addition to bringing fuel, clothes, and food, Julia would often spruce up damaged dolls to offer to kids, or push child buggies through the streets to provide to expectant moms. As soon as, she was seen on the streets in the evening bring a bed mattress on her back.

Her charity extended well beyond her secret shipments. Julia would come to the home to make meals and assist clingy households discover funeral clothing if somebody passed away. She even handed out her own burial plot for a pauper when she heard that he was going to be buried in a potter’’ s field.


When she understood that a group of bad women couldn’’ t participate in socials due to the fact that they couldn’’ t manage good gowns, she scheduled a group of ladies throughout town to contribute their carefully used gowns, so that ““ her ladies ”( whose names she concealed) might go to the socials and delight in the vibrant satisfaction that hardship had actually rejected them.

Julia particularly enjoyed kids, and they enjoyed her. She sang and played with them in the streets, saw infants for worn out mothers, and stayed up all night looking after ill kids so their moms and dads might sleep. The just recognized image of Julia around is of her holding an infant she utilized to see, called Marjorie. In the picture, Marjorie is holding Julia’’ s rosary, on which Julia began teaching her to hope when Marjorie was just 4 months old.

Julia’’ s pleasure was remarkable, specifically because of the suffering she sustained from her own youth. She was mainly illiterate, as servants weren’’ t permitted to discover to compose and check out. She had actually a warped eye—– the outcome of an injury she sustained as a little woman, when a servant owner’’ s whip ruined her eye. For the rest of her life, fluid exuded and drained pipes from the eye socket. Julia cleaned it continually with a scarf.

People who understood Julia stated her look might be disconcerting in the beginning, however her character quickly eclipsed all impressions, and her smile was memorable.

The charity and delight that originated from her smile and animated her life discovered their source in her deep faith. Julia had actually gone into the Church in 1880, through the impact of a Catholic female for whom she worked.

Ever because then, Julia had actually been an everyday communicant at Sacred Heart parish in Denver. She had an impassioned dedication to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. According to one news article (composed after her death), she was ““ stated by the Jesuit Fathers of that church to have actually been the most zealous apostle of the Sacred Heart they had actually ever understood.””


Julia ’ s fantastic love for the Sacred Heart was especially popular to every firemen in the city of Denver. Every very first Friday of the month—– the day that honors the Sacred Heart—– she would stroll to all the firehouses in the city, bringing Sacred Heart brochures and badges to the firefighters. She had a tender solicitude for their souls, and she chuckled while they joked with her. They likewise added to her charitable ventures.

.The Promise of the Sacred Heart.

On June 7, 1918, Julia left her boarding home and started strolling to Sacred Heart church, one block away, as she did every early morning. She fell ill and went to a pal’’ s home rather. The buddy called the priest, who administered the last sacraments to Julia prior to she was required to the medical facility. She passed away of kidney failure later on that day.

It was the very first Friday of the month—– and it was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This precious apostle of the Sacred Heart entered eternity on the very day that honored the commitment to which she had actually devoted her life.

The priests at the parish had her body set out in the chapel, never ever expecting the crowds that would come down upon the wake. To everybody’’ s awe, for 5 hours, numerous individuals, bad and abundant, from all over the city, submitted previous Julia’’ s body to pay their aspects.


Newspaper press reporters composed short articles explaining the unmatched turnout for this bad ex-slave who had actually touched a lot of lives. The story of her remarkable charity was bied far from one generation to the next, till lastly, in 2016, her cause for canonization was presented.

A couple of days after I got the very first e-mail from my pal, asking for prayers for his sister-in-law, a 2nd e-mail came.

““ It ’ s been a remarkable number of days,” ” my pal composed. The medical professionals had actually been speaking about taking his sister-in-law off life assistance, when she started to enhance. By the next day, she was staying up and talking. Not long after, she was launched from the health center.

My pal’’ s amazing story is among lots of prefers credited to the intercession of Servant of God Julia Greeley.

In the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart, Jesus assured to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, ““ Those who promote this dedication will have their names composed in my heart, never ever to be effaced.””


Of all the names composed there, certainly the name of Julia Greeley is amongst them, engraved for all eternity in the location that was the wellspring of her extraordinary strength, her amazing charity, and her limitless faith.

image: Julia Greeley, from the Denver Catholic (circa 1915), the just recognized picture of her/ Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain) .