Julia Greeley's remains to be transferred to Cathedral Basilica

Ceremony provides unique opportunity to view relics of Denver's 'Angel of Charity'

 DENVER - As part of the ongoing investigation into the life of Servant of God Julia Greeley (d. June 7, 1918), the Archdiocese of Denver is transferring the mortal remains of Denver’s “Angel of Charity” to her final resting place at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.  

The Transfer of the Remains Ceremony will take place Wednesday, June 7, at 10am at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, 1530 Logan St. 


This will be the only opportunity for people to view the remains before they are enclosed in their final resting place. 


The remains were exhumed from her grave (sect. 8, Block 7) at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge beginning May 26. 

The multi-day exhumation process, which was conducted privately by the Archdiocese of Denver with the permission of the Vatican, resulted in the recovery of nearly the entire skeleton of the ex-slave known for her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and her works of charity.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver opened her cause for canonization on Dec. 18, 2016. The exhumation and transfer of her remains is part of the Diocesan Phase of her Cause for Canonization, which is ongoing.

Julia's cause is overseen by the postulator, Waldery Hilgeman, and the vice-postulator, David Uebbing, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver.

Transfer of the Remains of Julia Greeley

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception | 1530 Logan Street

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 10am

Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez will preside at the transfer ceremony, during which the remains of Julia will be presented, and Dr. Christine Pink, Ph.D., a forensic anthropologist of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Human Identification Laboratory, will be present to testify to the integrity of the exhumation process.

The remains will then be placed into a funerary box three-feet long, a foot-and-a-half wide and a foot-and-a-half tall, made of Purpleheart wood. 

Julia’s skull, as well as her femur, the tibia and some of the larger bones will be visible during the ceremony. 

Certificates authenticating the bones as those of Julia Greeley will be placed in tubes in the funerary box. Additionally, some dirt from her grave at Mount Olivet and a piece of her original coffin will be placed in the box at the Cathedral.

Before the end of the ceremony, the box will be closed and sealed with wax. The box will eventually be on display in a case covered with plexiglass on the front left side of the cathedral.

It will take approximately six months to build a sarcophagus, which will enclose the funerary box.

An ex-slave from Hannibal, Missouri, who found her way to Denver and the Catholic Church in the late 1800s, Julia is the first person the Archdiocese of Denver has proposed for sainthood.

When the diocesan phase of the investigation into Greeley’s possible sainthood closes, the investigators will send a report to the Vatican counting their findings. The Pontifical Commission for the Causes of Saints will then decide whether to continue along with the process.


Learn more about Julia Greeley