Denver’s ‘angel of charity,’ considered for sainthood, is celebrated at special Mass

DENVER — Thursday marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Julia Greeley. The woman, born into slavery and known as Denver’s angel of charity, is on her way to likely become Colorado’s first saint.

In 2016, Denver’s archbishop proposed Greeley’s candidacy for sainthood -- a long process that seeks the approval of Pope Francis. The faithful in Colorado, who have studied Greeley's life, are confident the woman is still working miracles.

“She has a missionary spirit.” Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila said during a special Mass in Greeley's honor.

The church took time on Thursday to remember all the good the former slave did for the the people of Colorado.

“She served with so much humility and never complained about physical trials and tribulations,” a Catholic parishioner told FOX31.

Greeley -- a woman of limited resources -- had terrible arthritis, according to historians. She didn’t let her physical pain stop her. She spent her days walking Denver streets for hours in order to give food, clothes and medication to those in need.

She also visited every firehouse in the city once a month to deliver Sacred Heart literature, officials said. Denver firefighters were at the Mass to pay tribute to Greeley.

“[She was a] very humble woman and very simple woman but one who gave real witness to the gospel,” Aquila said.

To honor her witness and devotion, Greeley;s remains were brought to the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception last year. Just last week -- ahead of Thursday’s Mass -- Greeley's bones were placed in a tomb at the mother church.

Two miracles must be confirmed for Greeley on her path toward Holy See recognition of sainthood.

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