Selling a house without burying Joseph

When we were getting ready to put our house on the market a few weeks ago, the topic of St. Joseph came up again and again.

Mengs_Traum_des_hl._Joseph-cropped
The Dream of St. Joseph
Wikimedia Commons

He has always been one of my favorite saints, second only to Bernard (BER-nerd, the scholarly saint, and not Ber-NARD, the courageous canine). I also happen to be named after both holy men, Saints B and J.

Maybe this helps explain, beyond the perfectly obvious silly superstition factor, why I resisted the advice from so many friends to bury a statue of Joseph upside down in the front yard. Supposedly this, when combined with prayers, quickly brings buyers your way.

I read somewhere that the practice has its roots in extortion, whereby the homeowner would bury St. Joseph’s likeness and threaten to keep him buried until he pulled whatever spiritual strings it took to get the property sold. To me, that just seems like asking for trouble.

We chose not to bury the patron saint of fathers, expectant mothers, carpenters, grave diggers and others, and we sold the house in a week.

Now we have a condo, and of course the makers and distributors of St. Joseph statues advise condo owners to bury him in a pot when it’s time to sell. Upside down, facing the front entrance.

No way in hell.

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