Bury a statue to sell a house? If you are like most of us, you’ve probably never heard of the very oldCatholic tradition of burying a St Joseph statue upside down to expedite selling property. Venerated in the Catholic, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox religions as a saint, Joseph (the husband of Jesus’ mother Mary), is thought of as the patron saint of workers and declared by Pope Pius IX as the protector of the Catholic Church in the 19th century.In addition to being the patron saint of selling homes, Joseph is also the saint of:
- (Against) hesitation and doubt
- Fighting communism
- Enjoying a happy death (because Joseph is said to have died in the arms of Mary and Jesus)
- Many countries, including Canada, Mexico, Austria and Vietnam
- Expectant mothers
- Immigrants and travelers
- Working people
How Did the Tradition Begin?
Historians think that around 1500 A.D., European nuns living at a cloister needed more land on which to plant vegetable gardens and raise livestock. They had medals made that were imprinted with Saint Joseph’s image and wondered if burying them in the ground would help their prayers be heard and answered more quickly. Evidently, it worked because they nuns gained more land after burying their medals and were able to remain self-sufficient at their cloister. However, why the medals were ultimately forsaken for statues of Joseph is unclear. By engaging in this ritual, the nuns essentially reinforced the concept of turning something over to the will of God. Catholics and anyone else who believes that having faith can cause good things to happen believe that it is not the act of burying a medal or statue that precipitates the sale of house but that it is faith in the Lord and his saints which propels the materialization of desired property transactions.
Where to Buy the Statue
Available online in varying sizes (typically four inches or eight inches high), St Joseph statues are made of sturdy plastic, resin or pewter material and come in packages that provide a burial sack, prayer cards and instructions about how to bury the statue to sell a house. Catholic supply stores also carry St. Joseph statues meant for house-selling rituals. Some statues feature Joseph standing alone while others have him holding the baby Jesus.
- 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.
- Some say that burying the statue sideways so that Joseph’s praying hands are pointing directly at your house helps direct potential buyers to your home.
- Bury a St Joseph statue in the backyard of your home near a flowerbed, shrub or other natural growth to expedite selling your home.
- You can also choose to bury St. Joseph one feet underground (again, to make Joseph work harder to leave the ground and quickly find a nice home) next to your For Sale sign, even if it is in the front yard.
- Once your house is sold, dig up the St Joseph statue and give it a place of honor in your new home.
Traditional St Joseph Prayer
Say this prayer once a day for nine days after you have buried a St Joseph statue on your property:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen Come to my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me Almighty God, Father of mercies and giver of all good gifts, I come before you to honor you in your saints and ask their help in my many needs You promised those who ask, would receive, those who seek, would find, those who knock, would have doors opened to them Hear the prayers of your church, grant my requests, and pardon my sins. Amen St. Joseph, just and true, with a father’s care you raised the child Jesus, and with a husband’s love, you shared your life with Mary, his mother I entrust myself to your care and place in your hands this request of mine In quiet Nazareth, long ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to your heart and you followed God’s will with wonderful faithIn the quiet of my days, and in the hard choices I must make, help me follow the Spirit’s guidance and believe when I cannot see Repeat one of these prayers along with the one above:
Day 1: Oh God, guide of those who listen and helper of those who hear your voice, speak to me, as you did to St. Joseph, and help me accomplish the things you give me to do .
Day 2: O God, you love your people and bless the ordinary lives we quietly live. As you blessed St. Joseph, bless what I do, however hidden and simple it may be, and let all I do be done with love.
Day 3: O God, ever faithful, you remember us always and in time reveal your blessings. Help me trust in you, as St. Joseph faithfully trusted, and never let me lose faith in the wonderful gifts you promise me.
Day 4: God of families, bless the family that’s mine. Keep us safe from harm, and never let evil come between us. Let peace remain in our hearts.
Day 5: O God, who loves children, be kind to our children today. Give them eyes of faith for seeing far, a loving heart for welcoming life, and a place always at your side.
Day 6: God of our heavenly home, bless our home on earth. Let the spirit of Mary and Joseph rest at our table, shape our words and actions, and bring blessing to our children.
Day 7: God, our Father, give your fatherly spirit to those who are fathers now. Like Joseph, give them hearts of devoted love for their wives and children and strength for forgiveness and patience.
Day 8: Give shelter, O God, to those who need it, and bring together families divided. Give us enough to eat, and decent work to earn our bread. Care for us, O God.
Day 9: Bless all families, O Lord especially those in need. Remembering the life of your Son, we pray for the poor, for those who lack a good home, for those in exile. Grant them a protector like Joseph, O God.