Denver’s “Angel of Charity” and her Little Red Wagon

There was a great article in the Washington Post on Monday about Servant of God Julia Greeley, who died 100 years ago this week.

Julia was born into slavery in Missouri, and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.  She later moved to Denver, where she worked as a housekeeper.  There she became Catholic and began the ministries which would continue for the rest of her life.

Julia gave to the poor, and when she didn’t have what someone needed, she begged until she got it for them.  She would make her rounds after dark, so that her charity would not become a spectacle, or an embarrassment to the people she helped.  She would load her little red wagon with firewood, clothing, food, and whatever else she thought might be needed, and walk the streets of Denver doing good.

Julia was an evangelist, too.  In particular, she had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart, and distributed pamphlets about it to fire stations.  She thought that as dangerous as it was to be a fireman, it was important for them to hear the Good News before it was too late.

Julia never did anything spectacular.  She just loved and gave of herself every day of her life, in charity and humility.  What a beautiful example, to remind us that no gift is too small, and no person too [seemingly] insignificant to do God’s work!

On Thursday, June 7, Julia Greeley will become the first person buried in Denver’s cathedral since it was constructed in 1912.

You can read more about Servant of God Julia Greeley and her cause for canonization on the website of the Julia Greeley Guild.

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