Saint to help sell your house

We’d been in our new house for just a few weeks when my husband found a gallon-sized zippered bag buried in the backyard.

The previous owners had a young son, so we’d been finding all sorts of buried treasures in the flowerbeds and under the deck, but this was a decidedly different find: There was a little statue of a man holding a child in the bag. It looked like the kind of figure you might find in a nativity scene, and I guessed he was most likely a saint, as I had seen similar statues in a religious goods store.

Not being Catholic or particularly religious, I had no idea who he was — or why he might be buried in my backyard.

saint to help sell your house

Kristina Wright

Turns out, it was a statue of St. Joseph (with, presumably, a young Jesus, since the Joseph we’re talking about here was that Joseph — you know, Mary’s husband?) and his purpose was to help the house sell faster. In the Catholic tradition, St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers and fathers, among other things. The legend of St. Joseph’s real estate prowess has earned him everything from a Snopes entry to dozens of anecdotes across the internet.

As Snopes notes, no one knows exactly when the custom of using a St. Joseph statue to help sell a home became popular, but he seems to have reached widespread use in the U.S. around 1990, “with realtors buying plastic saints’ statues by the gross.”

Though the people we bought our house from didn’t follow the St. Joseph legend exactly (more on this below), we did make an offer on their house within a few weeks of it going on the market. Was it St. Joseph’s influence? We’ll never know, but they had put the house on the market previously with no luck.

Here’s how the process generally goes:

1. Bury St. Joseph in your yard.

How you bury him depends on which source you consult and your own preference, but the most frequently mentioned method is that he should be buried upside down in the front yard facing the house. This placement assures he will work hard to sell the right house. For condo dwellers and those who don’t have a yard, bury St. Joseph in a pot near the front door. You can wrap him in protective cloth or put him in a bag, as the previous owners of our home did, to keep him protected from the elements. (It also seems more respectful.)

And no, you don’t have to be Catholic or even a Christian to put your faith in St. Joseph. Author and homeowner Erica Orloff describes herself as “an atheist, or at least a very cynical agnostic,” but she grew up with the traditions of her grandparents’ Catholic faith.

“I have my grandparents’ crucifixes on my walls, and carry Mass cards and assorted Catholic items in my purse. So it felt like a natural thing to me, a cross between superstition and a talisman,” she told me.

She buried St. Joseph in the yard after her home languished on the market for eight months. The result? “It sold in an all-cash deal in under a week,” she said.

saint to help sell your house

Adobe

2. Say a prayer to St. Joseph.

It doesn’t seem to matter how you pray, as long as you pray for St. Joseph’s help, and most of the St. Joseph home sale kits include a prayer card to help those of us who aren’t practicing Catholics.

Here’s an example of a prayer to St. Joseph, from the website Roman Catholic Man:

O, Saint Joseph, you who taught our Lord the carpenter’s trade, and saw to it that he was always properly housed, hear my earnest plea. I want you to help me now as you helped your foster-child Jesus, and as you have helped many others in the matter of housing. I wish to sell this quickly, easily, and profitably and I implore you to grant my wish by bringing me a good buyer, one who is eager, compliant, and honest, and by letting nothing impede the rapid conclusion of the sale.

Dear Saint Joseph, I know you would do this for me out of the goodness of your heart and in your own good time, but my need is very great now and so I must make you hurry on my behalf.

Saint Joseph, I am going to place you in a difficult position with your head in darkness and you will suffer as our Lord suffered, until this is sold. Then, Saint Joseph, I swear before the cross and God Almighty, that I will redeem you and you will receive my gratitude and a place of honor in my home.

Amen.

saint to help sell your house

Adobe

RELATED: The Clever Reason Medieval Castle Staircases Are Always Clockwise

3. Boom — you get an offer on your house!

At least, that’s the way the stories go. After you have closed on the house, you should thank St. Joseph by digging him up and taking him with you to your new home, where he should be put in a “place of honor.”

Obviously, the previous owners of our home didn’t follow all of the steps and left him behind. (I’m sure it’s purely a coincidence that a tree fell on their newly built home shortly after they moved.)

So, what does one do with a previously owned statute of St. Joseph? I put him in a place of honor in my house —my kitchen window! — and he lived there for the sixteen years we owned the house. I intended to replant him in 2016 when we were getting ready to move to a new city, but I never had a chance — we had three offers on the house within 48 hours of it going on the market!

I like to think that St. Joseph was lending us a helping hand from his spot on the windowsill. On moving day, I put him in my purse and brought him to our new home two hours away. He’s back in the kitchen window, watching over my home, a good luck talisman who has earned his place of honor.

saint to help sell your house

Adobe

Interested in putting this tactic to the test? You can buy St. Joseph home sale kits for $5 to $10 in religious goods stores or online (even Amazon sells them!), so even if you’re a skeptic, it might be worth a shot.

We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer’s website.

www.simplemost.com

Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the “worker” and “protector”. Catholics worldwide pray to St Joseph when they are in financial need or they need assistance with a pressing need such as selling their homes.

saint to help sell your house

Brief History of the Prayer

Most historians believe that around 1500 AD, a small group of nuns that had a pressing need to obtain land, turned to burying metals engraved with the St Joseph on them.  This ritual involved the burying, and then praying to the image.  It’s been told that later, the nun’s prayers were answered.  The act of burying the metals with the St Joseph imprinted on them, was their expression of faith, claiming to turn to God for their need, and putting all of their hope and faith in Him.  It’s a fact however, than putting one’s faith in God for his/her needs, doesn’t require a metal, statue, or any other type of man-made image.  It simply requires trust in Him & ” know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.  In our opinion “works for the good” includes but is not limited to the sale of a house.

How Do People Use the Prayer?

Most Catholics who believe that the St Joseph prayer will actually cause their house to sell, will practice the following ritual.  Actually, even those who don’t have a faith in God, but are superstitious, will practice the ritual:

  1. Purchase a statue of the St. Joseph.  Many retailers of this statue profit from sale of these status, it is easy to find a retailer online
  2. Did a hole within 3 feet of your For Sale sign in front of your house large enough for the Statue.
  3. Place the statue upside down facing toward the direction of the front of your home.   Then…
  4. Those who believe in this practice would repeat the following prayer….

The St. Joseph Prayer to Sell a House

O, Saint Joseph, you who taught our Lord the carpenter’s trade, and saw to it that he was always properly housed, hear my earnest plea. I want you to help me now as you helped your foster-child Jesus, and as you have helped many others in the matter of housing. I wish to sell this quickly, easily, and profitably and I implore you to grant my wish by bringing me a good buyer, one who is eager, compliant, and honest, and by letting nothing impede the rapid conclusion of the sale.

Dear Saint Joseph, I know you would do this for me out of the goodness of your heart and in your own good time, but my need is very great now and so I must make you hurry on my behalf.

Saint Joseph, I am going to place you in a difficult position with your head in darkness and you will suffer as our Lord suffered, until this is sold. Then, Saint Joseph, i swear before the cross and God Almighty, that i will redeem you and you will receive my gratitude and a place of honour in my home.

Amen.

See more at:

But Is the St Joseph Prayer To Sell A House Legitimate?

To answer the question as to whether or not the Prayer actually works or not, we’ll first need to be clear that we can’t take a subjective look at the prayer.  We can’t even look at statistics of home sale percentages and average days on market for those home owners that did bury the statue and those that did not.  Why?  Well how would you know with a 100% degree of certainty that your home sold faster by participating in the ritual, than if you opted not to?  The truth is, there are so many other factors that cause a house to sell, that it’s impossible to put your finger on any one causing factor…including the St Joseph prayer to sell a house.

So does this mean I’m saying that “there’s no way to know for sure if this prayer works”?  No, I’m not saying that the ritual doesn’t work; I’ll leave that for someone else to answer, but what I am about to claim will undoubtedly be a little controversial, especially for those whom pray to Saints regularly.   Rather than asking if burying a statue a certain way, and then reciting a very specific prayer to a statue/Saint will sell your house fast, a better question would be: Is it biblical to pray to a statue/Saint, no matter what the need is?  Let’s find out.

What does the bible say about Praying to Idols/Statues?

Firstly, the official position of the Catholic church is that Catholics do not pray to Saints directly to answer their prayers, rather they ask the Saints to pray FOR them on their behalf, in essence petitioning for them to “intercede” form them.  Most Catholics that pray to Saints, believe that Saints, because they are in heaven with God, will have more success in “delivering their request” to God than they would if they were to bypass the Saints’ and go to God directly with the request to help them sell their home quickly…or any request for that matter.

Is it true, should we as believers in what Jesus Christ did on the cross, need to go through a “third-party” to intercede for us in our need?  Absolutely not.  Jesus is our intercessor, not the statue of Jesus, but Jesus himself.  John 14:6says “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” .  Notice that He DOES NOT say “no one comes to the father except through a Saint”.  No one can submit his request (real estate, financial, relational, spiritual, emotional ect..) to the Father, unless Jesus and only Jesus is the intercessor.  Further more, because of the finished work that Jesus did on the cross for us, believers can “…approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. 

The biblical truth is that IF a person should feel the need to ask a Saint to “deliver” a message asking God to help Him sell their house on behalf of him/her, because they feel that they are not as worthy as the Saints, they are emphatically incorrect.  Worse yet, they are in essence denying the significance and magnitude of what Jesus did on the cross for them.  You see, by Jesus living a sinless life, and being the atonement for our past and future sins (should we accept him by faith), and conquering death, those who believe are able to say that they are Right with God or Righteous in God’s eyes.

In fact, in Leviticus 26:1 we find that it’s a sin as God says: “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.”.

If praying to a Statue Is a Sin, Then How Can God Help Me?

If you have found yourself in a difficult situation and truly need to sell your house, then I suggest that you go directly to our Father and humbly ask him to help you in your current need.  Somewhere in the prayer I would suggest asking it all to be done in “Jesus’s Name”.  Why, because the Jesus said “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” in John 14:13.  Here’s how I would pray to Him without burying a statue or doing any other superstitious act:

An Example of a Prayer to Sell a House

“Father, you know that I’ve had a difficult time selling our home.  I know that your Word says that you will provide for my every need.  I know that you know my every need before I even ask, so I come before you and ask that you would help me in my current financial situation.  I need to sell this house, but more than that I want Your Will to be done in this situation.  So, I am asking that your Will be done, not my own.  I will continue to trust in You no matter what the outcome is, in Jesus name I ask these things”

Go Ahead, Have Some Faith

There are many, many stories in the Bible that show what even a little faith can do.  Even Faith “as small as a mustard seed” can go a long way in the eyes of God…and that’s one really small seed.  If you’re reading this post, and you are considering selling your house in the near future, let us know, because we buy houses from home owners in distress on a regular basis.

www.needtosellmyhouse.com

So you took a chance and moved into your new pad before your old one was off the market.

Now, you’ve been paying two mortgages for almost a year and no new offers are coming in.

It’s every home owners worst nightmare, and some people will try anything to get their house off the market.

Apparently, that includes requesting divine intervention.

How can St. Joseph help sell your home?

saint to help sell your house

St. Joseph and the infant Jesus.Nheyob – Wikimedia

Joseph, as you’ll remember from Sunday School, was married to Jesus’s mother, the Virgin Mary.

A carpenter by trade, today he’s the patron saint for all carpenters. And by extension, the patron saint of homes and real estate.

Tradition says that a home owner desperate to sell their property can appeal to the saint by burying a statue of him in their yard.

Depending on who you ask, the ritual takes place very differently.

saint to help sell your house

A St. Joseph “real estate kit.”Coastal Florida Real Estate

Joseph might be buried in the corner of the yard, upside down facing the front door, or in the flower bed.

The saint is apparently very busy, because he also attends to condos – just leave him in a pot by the front door

And of course, your appeals will have a better chance if you offer up a prayer to St. Joseph.

While some Catholics bristle at the tradition (you might at least bury him in a plastic bag, to keep the dirt away), plenty of people swear by it.

Selling homes on a hope and a prayer

There are plenty of legends about how the tradition got its start, usually involving a convent desperate to move.

saint to help sell your house

Burying the saint with a healthy snack may improve your odds.A Day in the Wife

In fact, experts say the tradition probably began in America as recently as the late 1970s.

Still, it seems to get results.

In his book Saint Joseph, My Real Estate Agent, Stephen Binz reports a man who threw out his statue because it wasn’t working.

A few days later he read in the newspaper that the local dump was being sold.

If your life needs some assistance from a higher power, we have a few more saints for you to keep in mind.

Everyday saints

The idea behind a patron saint is that these powerful religious figures can intervene on the Lord’s behalf to guide and protect us.

saint to help sell your house

St. Anthony can help find lost objects – while St. Jude is devoted to lost causes.CatholicGO.org / National Shrine of St. Jude

Whether or not you actually believe it, or just need as much help as you can get, there’s always a saint willing to lend a hand.

While many preside over specific places or professions, there are a few who deal with everyday problems:

  • St. Anthony had a stolen book returned after praying. That makes him the patron saint of missing objects – including keys and glasses.
  • The Romans forced St. Bibiana to drink molten lead, and today we consider her the patron saint of hangovers.
  • St. Clotilde was a queen, whose children tore apart her kingdom by fighting. Offer a prayer to her if you have dissapointing children.
  • Praying to St. Honoratus– the patron of bakers – could keep your cookies from burning in the oven.

Ancient saints for modern problems

Some saints are even said to lend a hand with objects that were invented long after their time.

saint to help sell your house

Clare of Assisi is ready to offer tech support.Sutori – Pexels

Students pray to St. Isidore for guidance, but he’s also the saint to ask for help with computer troubles.

Legend says that Clare of Assisi could watch mass from bed when she was too sick to walk to church.

That means if you TV or cell phone is on the fritz, you should pray to her for help.

saint to help sell your house

Mother Cabrini always knows where to find a parking spot. Hispa / Neozoon – Wikimedia

Finally, remember this prayer to the famous missionary Mother Cabrini for your next trip to the mall – she’s the saint of immigrants and hospitals, which have notoriously busy parking lots.

“Mother Cabrini, Mother Cabrini, find a space for my parking machiney!”

If even the saints can’t help you sell your home, just be glad you’re better off than this next home owner….

The happiest place on earth

This luxurious home in Windermere, Florida has been getting plenty of attention lately, but for all the wrong reasons.

With seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, and prime real estate close enough to see Disney World’s fireworks, the house should be a steal at $888,000.

saint to help sell your house

Trulia

But the… unique design choices have drive away a few potential buyers.

saint to help sell your house

Trulia

Every room in the home is decked out in a special Disney theme.

There’s a Mickey Mouse-inspired breakfast bar, Frozen and Tinkerbell bathrooms, and a glamorous Aladdin bedroom.

saint to help sell your house

Truliasaint to help sell your houseTruliasaint to help sell your houseTruliasaint to help sell your houseTruliasaint to help sell your houseTruliasaint to help sell your houseTrulia

There’s even a whole room celebrating the magic of Christmas year-round.

saint to help sell your house

Trulia

Whether this is your dream home or a nightmare depends on just how much you love Disney movies.

One thing’s for sure, even St. Joseph can’t help get this house off the market.

Have you ever appealed to a higher power to sell your home?

www.shared.com

The Saints have never ruled, even when Archie Manning was their quarterback. But St. Joseph has dominated as the Divine Real Estate Mover for several hundred years.

The United States Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C., traces the tradition of burying St. Joseph back hundreds of years to St. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582), who prayed to St. Joseph (the patron saint of the family and household needs) for more land for Christian converts and encouraged her Discalced Carmelite nuns to bury St. Joseph medals in the ground as a symbol of their devotion.

Today, folks bury statues of St. Joseph instead of medals (some say the reason he is depicted as bald in so many statues is that he’s been buried upside-down too many times). He can be buried in the front yard, upside down, facing away from the house or in the back yard, right side up, facing the house. Some cultures say once the house is sold, you must dig him up and take him with you. Others insist you leave him in the ground at your old house and buy a new one. Everyone agrees you need to give him a place of honor at your new home.

Though St. Joseph Home Sale Kits can be purchased (in prices ranging from $9.95 to almost $30.00), the most important factor is said to be faith. If you don’t truly believe in divine intervention, they say, don’t expect positive results.

If you want to do-it-yourself, here’s how:

1. Get a statue of St. Joseph. The size of the statue has nothing to do with how much money you’re going to get for your house, thank goodness.

2. Bury him on your property (see instructions, above).

3. Ask him to help you sell your home. The following is from an Internet kit, and is definitely not the kind of prayer I would suggest be used: “Oh, St. Joseph, guardian of household needs, we know you don’t like to be upside down in the ground, but the sooner escrow closes, the sooner we will dig you up and put you in a place of honor in our new home. Please bring us an acceptable offer (or any offer!) and help sustain our faith in the real estate market.”

4. Thank him after your home sells.

5. Share your experience of how he helped you with others.

Does doing all this guarantee that St. Joseph will sell your house? Of course not.   It’s a silly superstition.  But 2 million St. Joseph statues are sold nationally each year with enough testimonials from satistified home sellers to make believers out of many. I’ll confess that as I write this, I’m staring out my window at the lovely new statue of St. Joseph and his family we placed in our back yard. When I buried him at our old home (which I sold myself), we had our buyer within a week.

Send questions to Cecil via [email protected]

STAFF REPORTS ARE WRITTEN BY THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, CECIL’S ONLINE AUXILIARY. THOUGH THE SDSAB DOES ITS BEST, THESE COLUMNS ARE EDITED BY ED ZOTTI, NOT CECIL, SO ACCURACYWISE YOU’D BETTER KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED.

www.straightdope.com

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