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The Myth of Burying St Joseph

A urban legend has been in existence for many years with regard to the burying of St Joseph statues in return for luck with selling real estate in record time and for unreasonable prices.  Just like anything else these days, the internet has exploited a centuries old tradition into a profit seeking mockery. 

Funny Story.  I too, fell into this trap.  Some time ago, a friend of mine who was listing his house out of state was having trouble selling his beautiful home.  I thought I'd try to lighten his mood by sending him a St. Joseph statue.  I had heard a few times in my years of real estate that some folks swore by the fact that burying a statue of St. Joseph upside down made all the difference in selling what had been a difficult sale.  So I went to the local Catholic gift store.  I asked the sales person if they had any cheap St Joseph statues.  Well...it might have been the word "cheap" but the clerk knew exactly what I was up to.  She immediately asked me if I planned to bury it in the ground.  As I was in a church, I did said yes.  She then told me they would rather not sell the statue to me.  As God as my witness, I meant no disrespect and thought this was an acceptable tradition. 

The interesting part was the clerk proceeded to tell me how it evolved into the real estate myth it is today.  In the beginning formation days of the Catholic church, early nuns would bury statues of St. Joseph upside down as to hold the sprit or soul of St. Joseph, in extortion, until their petitions were answered.  Once answered, the nuns would release the effigy of the spirit's metaphorical soul and place it in a predominate place in their home, such as a mantel.  Most of these petitions or prayers that are said were for things other than household matters, especially the sale of such.  However, with the statue placed in the home after the spiritual shake down, St Joseph was billed as the home guardian saint.  Combine that with the ancient practice of burying effigies until prayers are answered, and all of a sudden St. Joseph is a very busy guy. 

The moral of this story is, price your house right and leave poor old St. Joseph out of it.


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