Everybody in Denver knew Julia Greeley by sight. On any given day she’d be walking the streets regardless of weather, pulling an old red wagon loaded with food, linens, and little toys.
“There goes the one-man St. Vincent de Paul society,” someone would say, and everyone else would smile and nod.
Nobody—including Julia herself—knew how old she was because she had been born into slavery, around the mid-1800s. Her first years were spent in Missouri under a cruel master. All her life, her right eye bore testimony to his horrible treatment: it had been cut by a whip when she was little, and she always carried a handkerchief to dab away the fluids streaming from it.
Finally, the Civil War gave Julia her freedom, and she moved to Denver, Colorado, with her employer. There she picked up other odd jobs cleaning and cooking, often working at night so that her employers wouldn’t be embarrassed by people seeing her.
That’s when she discovered the Catholic Church. Instantly, Julia was inflamed with piety and zeal. She was baptized at Sacred Heart Parish in 1880, and from that time to the day of her death worked tirelessly to care for the poor. She made very little money at her jobs, but most of it went to buying food and material for charity.
Julia’s greatest devotion was to the Sacred Heart. She promoted the devotion everywhere she went, but especially among the city’s firefighters. It was on the Feast of the Sacred Heart in 1918 that she died and entered the next life, mourned by the people of Denver.
Ignite the fire of your own devotion to the Sacred Heart during this month of June—the month of the Sacred Heart! Our 8” statue of the Sacred Heart, hand-painted in vivid and tasteful colors, wonderfully depicts Our Lord’s Heart, burning with love for you. A perfect addition to a prayer space or bookshelf. Order yours today!