Tags: julia greeley | former slave | sainthood

Former Slave Julia Greeley on Path to Sainthood in Denver

Former Slave Julia Greeley on Path to Sainthood in Denver
Auxiliary Bishop Jorge H. Rodriguez-Novelo blesses the remains of Julia Greeley in the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver. (AP Photo/Colleen Slevin)

By    |   Monday, 04 June 2018 09:29 AM

A former slave on the path to Catholic sainthood, Julia Greeley, is being entombed in Denver’s cathedral on the 100th anniversary of her death.

Greeley was born into slavery and lost her eye as a child after being severely whipped by her slave master, The Washington Post reported, yet she never lost faith in humanity.

After being freed, she moved to Denver in the 1870s and used what little money she earned as a domestic servant to help others in need.

During her time, Greeley was considered a saint by the dozens of people who she helped and her death on June 7, 1918, left her many admirers grieving.

Hundreds of community members attended her funeral at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, reportedly the first time a layperson’s dead body lay in state in a Catholic church.

A century later, Greeley will be entombed at Denver’s Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception while the Archdiocese of Denver seeks to give her the official title of saint.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops greenlit the canonization process for Greely in 2016, and she has been designated the title of "Servant of God."

The canonization process is a lengthy one that entails a series of steps carefully executed by the Church before a person's name is entered in the canon of saints, Our Sunday Visitor reported.

After being freed by Missouri’s Emancipation Act in 1865, she found work serving white families and used whatever left-over money she had from her meager earnings to assist other poor families in the community, according to the website of the Julia Greeley Guild.

There were days when she had nothing left to give and would beg for food and clothing to give to the needy, but she never stopped helping others.

Since her death there had been numerous requests that her cause be considered for canonization and in December 2016, the process officially began and her remains were exhumed and laid out in the cathedral for all to see.

Mary Leisring, president of the Julia Greeley Guild, noted that not everybody could be like Mother Theresa, who made headlines in 2016 for her canonization by Pope Francis, but Leisring said Greeley could show others that ordinary people could become extraordinary "just by being selfless and giving," the Post said.

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A former slave on the path to Catholic sainthood, Julia Greeley, is being entombed in Denver’s cathedral on the 100th anniversary of her death.
julia greeley, former slave, sainthood
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2018-29-04
Monday, 04 June 2018 09:29 AM
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