Oh, to be the patron saint of real estate! Saint Joseph — yes, that Joseph — has an enormous load to bear these days, especially in the housing slump we find ourselves. Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, gets to sit on car dashboards and hang as a medal around people’s necks. Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals, and gets to advocate for birds, cats, dogs, and gentle creatures. Both carry out their admirable missions in style. Meanwhile, Saint Joseph — a plastic replica of him anyway — has the privilege of getting buried in the front lawn of a home that is for sale, hoping to spur a sale. Why this disservice? Blame Saint Teresa of Avila.

According to the Catholic Community Forum, in the mid-1500s, Saint Teresa was trying to get housing and land for Christian converts and prayed to Saint Joseph for help. She even urged her nuns to bury medals of Saint Joseph in the ground. It must’ve worked because more than 500 centuries later, people are still doing it.

Zillow Discussions has a couple of threads where Saint Joe came to the rescue:

OK, so if you have a house to sell and believe St. Joe can help, how do you bury him? Here are some suggestions from the Zillow Discussions thread:

  • “Just make sure he is facing your house and not the neighbors’.”
  • “I heard he was supposed to face the street or the ‘for sale’ sign…ugh! I do have him upside down tho…lol.”
  • “Bury St. Joseph in front of your home, upside down facing the street in a plastic bag (provided with mine)… if you don’t have a yard, you’re allowed to use a large potted plant…”

I have a Saint Joe’s statue on my desk. The directions say, “To invoke the full power of Saint Joseph, you must bury this figure upside-down near the “For Sale” sign in your yard while reciting this simple prayer:

“Most holy St. Joseph. I beseech thee to intercede on my behalf to help me find a worthy buyer for my home, preferably one who will pay full price and waive inspection. Amen.”

Maybe in this sub-prime slump we’re in, we can all use a little divine intervention.

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