Q. Why do some sellers bury a statue of St. Joseph in their yard?
A. As the patron saint of families and a happy home, it has long been a tradition for Catholics to bury a small statue of St. Joseph somewhere in their yard and to recite a special prayer in the hopes that St. Joseph will intercede before God on their behalf for the speedy sale of their home.
This tradition dates back a 16th century nun (St. Teresa of Avila) who founded the Discalced Carmelites order of nuns in 1562. She embarked to establish many convents throughout Spain. She turned to St. Joseph asking for his aid in acquiring one parcel of land in particular; she buried a medal with his image on it in the soil and prayed. St. Teresa ultimately attained the land and believed it was St. Joseph who came to her assistance. Thus the tradition of burying a medal of St. Joseph (and later a statue of the saint) gained momentum.
Although such a practice may seem superstitious, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official definition of superstition is the belief that something (other than God) is responsible for bringing you “good luck” or that something happened purely by chance. As long as a seller views the burying of a St. Joseph statue as a physical form of earnest prayer to ask for his intercession before God, it’s not considered superstition. The purpose of the tradition is about turning to faith in a time of need.
Prudent real estate agents always recommend the following advice in addition to burying St. Joseph:
“For this practice to be fully effective, the seller must, of course, first do such practical yet all important chores as completing all necessary fix-ups, properly staging the home and finally, adjusting the price so as to exactly reflect market value.”
Many sellers have reported great success shortly after burying a statue of St. Joseph on their property. Stephen Binz’s 2003 book, Saint Joseph, My Real Estate Agent, has many such examples along with a few comical ones:
“One impatient man moved his statue from the front yard to the backyard to the side of the house and finally threw it in the trash. A few days later the frustrated seller opened the newspaper and saw the headline ‘Local Dump Has Been Sold.’”
Prudent sellers are encouraged to follow their faith and have faith in their agent.…. However, if the home is a complete disaster, consider praying to St Jude instead, the patron saint of miracles and hopeless causes.
St Joseph Statue – Burial instructions
• Bury the statue in the yard in the front of the house. Favorable spots are either close to the “For Sale” sign or close to the road.
• Bury the statue upside down, facing the house.*
• Pray to Saint Joseph when you are burying him and keep praying until the house is sold.
• The most important part is to have faith at all times, in yourself, in the sale and in Saint Joseph.
• After your house is sold take him with you to your new home and put him in a place of honor.
• If you live in a condo, bury the statue of St Joseph in a pot.
*Always bury the statue upside down. The theory behind this request claims that Joseph will work harder to leave the ground when buried upside down so he can find a comfortable home in which to dwell.
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The Scott Loper Team
Scott & Lisa Loper