St. Joseph the worker – working hard to get your house sold!

Nina Filippi, Managing Editor

How awesome would it be if St. Joseph came to help you sell your house? Guess what, he can! Well, not literally, but there is a centuries-old tradition about it.

Around the 1700s, nuns started doing this practice to acquire property. So how does it work? Rocket Homes provides a nice summary of this tradition: “The original intention behind burying the St. Joseph statue upside down in the dirt was to incentivize the saint to sell the home in order to return him right side up.” While that sounds incredibly messed up, some swear by this tradition. “Many verified reviews say their home attracted purchase offers within hours to two days of burying the statue. Some even achieving bidding wars from multiple buyers,” says UpNest. Amazon and other retailers sell mini “St. Joseph house kits” if you want to give this tradition a shot.  

St. Joseph is the patron saint of carpenters and house sellers, after all, so it makes sense that this tradition is done in his name. But what does the church think about this? Father Blood says that while the practice of burying St. Joseph starts with good intentions, the issue is with how we see it. “We take a general good pious act of praying through St. Joseph and then through time allow it to seem more a superstitious activity or act that brings about ‘good luck’”, he says. “The Church doesn’t outright reject the specific act of burying St. Joseph, because it is left to our own judgment”. He also says that superstition can affect the way we worship God. Theology teacher Mr. Gonzales says, “People can forget that prayer is actually the effective part, not the action of burying a statue. A better option would be to put the St. Joseph statue in a prominent place in the house so you can pray for his intercession.” He also agrees that the tradition has become more superstitious than prayerful.  

If you really think that St. Joseph will help you sell your house, consider not burying the father of Jesus Christ in your front lawn.