Friday, July 27, 2012

Burying St. Joseph Upside Down To Sell a House

Q - I've heard that if you bury a statue of St. Joseph upside-down in your yard it will help you sell your home. Can you tell me more about this?

A -
Thanks for the question. This is timely, because I am trying to sell my house currently. This is a wildly popular practice among those who are looking to sell their houses, whether they are Catholic or not. It was even written up in a USA Today article. In fact, there are several companies that survive by selling kits to use when you want to sell your home. They come with a cheap plastic St. Joseph statue and directions on how to do it just right in order to get what you want.

I believe this is a superstitious practice. That being said, asking for the intercession of St. Joseph in trying to sell your home is a good thing to do. I would recommend praying a novena to St. Joseph and asking for his help. If you buy a statue, why bury it? That is a way of disposing of blessed items.

Now, there is a story of Blessed Andre Bessette doing something similar, but it does not give rise to superstition:
For many years the Holy Cross authorities had tried to buy land on Mount Royal. Brother Andre and others climbed the steep hill and planted medals of Saint Joseph on it, and soon after, the owners yielded, which incident helped the current devotion to Saint Joseph by those looking to buy or sell a home.
The difference is in Bl. Andre opening himself up, in faith, to whatever God's will is. So, I would recommend you stay far away from the practice of burying a St. Joseph statue upside-down. The prayer is the important part.

Here is what the Catechism says about superstitions:
2111 "Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition."
I hope this helps.


Brian Gill said...

Well said.

With goofy ideas like this floating around, it's small wonder that some folks assume that Catholicism is a collection of weird superstitions.

The excerpt from the Catechism is spot-on.

Thanks for posting this.

Victoria Rose said...

THANK YOU!!! Finally, someone who agrees that burying St. Joseph is wrong!!! We had to sell our house in CA in order to move it MI. People were urging us to bury poor St. Joseph upside down in front of our house. Honestly! Like burying a statue in a bunch of dirt has more spiritual benefit than praying to that saint to interceed for you. So, we put our St. Joseph statue outside (above ground) in a special place with sunflowers and our house sold very quickly. :D

For a little bit of humor, we took a picture of the statue by a hole in the ground with my mom's finger pointing to the hole as if to say, "Look, sell this house or you are going to be in that hole!" ;) Not that we would have, though.