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.
Table of contents
- 1 Brief History of the Prayer
- 2 How Do People Use the Prayer?
- 3 But Is the St Joseph Prayer To Sell A House Legitimate?
- 4 What does the bible say about Praying to Idols/Statues?
- 5 If praying to a Statue Is a Sin, Then How Can God Help Me?
- 6 Go Ahead, Have Some Faith
- 7 Selling Our Home
- 8 Saint Joseph Statue Helps Sell Your House
- 9 Saint Joseph Prayer for a Quick Home Sale
- 10 Community Q&A
- 11 Tips
- 12 Things You’ll Need
- 13 Article SummaryX
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:
- 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
- Did a hole within 3 feet of your For Sale sign in front of your house large enough for the Statue.
- Place the statue upside down facing toward the direction of the front of your home. Then…
- 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.
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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.
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.
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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.
Having problems selling your home? Get a St. Joseph statue!
After a month of prepping, packing, organizing and staging – we’re putting our house on the market.
Selling Our Home
This house has been our home the last 10 years. Me, being the gypsy at heart has totally been excited to get moving – until last night. Last night I realized that all 4 of our kids were raised here. I know this is PRETTY obvious information, but I’ve honestly been so wrapped in getting everything ready I haven’t thought through the emotions of leaving this place.
At the end of the day, I am happy to see this house look exactly how I dreamed it looking when we built it. It was empty for the first few years, and now we are overflowing and busting at the seams.
So now we live in this near perfect house – that must look perfect every minute of the day as we only get an hours notice before a showing. We’re wanting an offer soon – so we’ve resorted to Saint Joseph. My husband says I’m returning to my Catholic roots. Well, not exactly, but I’ll do anything to get some help!
Saint Joseph Statue Helps Sell Your House
Here is the tale of Saint Joseph. It’s actually quite funny. First you need to purchase a Saint Joseph statue. This is a small figurine – I purchase our’s on Amazon.
The custom of burying a statue of Saint Joseph upside down in the yard while one’s house is for sale goes back a long way in the United States — for despite an “urban legends” page online that pseudo-authoritatively claims the custom only began in the 1970s, i have ads in 1930s hoodoo spiritual supply catalogues that offer a tiny statue of Saint Joseph in a case made to carry him upside down.
The functional opposite to Saint Joseph — that is the Catholic entity to whom one addresses a petition when one wants to buy or rent a house — is Our Lady of Loreto.
Saint Joseph Prayer for a Quick Home Sale
You need to bury the Saint Joseph statue upside down. After your home sells, don’t forget to dig him up and take him to your new home.
Here is the Saint Joseph prayer for a quick home sale!
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.
So yes, it sounds like you torture poor old St. Joseph until he sells your house. How Mafia – ish. I’m in. Sorry Joe!
Update! We moved to the country and bought a fixer upper!
Bury the Statue Say a Prayer Free the Statue Article Summary Questions & Answers Related Articles References
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Burying a statue of St. Joseph is a traditional and popular practice people often resort to when trying to sell a house. The exact placement of the statue can vary depending on who you ask, but there is still a general procedure you should follow.
Part 1 Bury the Statue
- Buy a statue of Saint Joseph.
Choose a small, simple statue so that the burial will be easier to perform. You can by saint statues at Catholic supply stores and online.
- The ideal height is between 3 and 4 inches (7.6 and 10 cm).
- Nowadays, you can even buy a St. Joseph “home selling kit” from retailers and some real estate offices. These kits usually come with a small statue of St. Joseph, a prayer card, and instructions on the practice.
- Wrap the statue in protective cloth.
Take a soft, clean washcloth or similar material and wrap it around the statue several time, covering all sides, including the top and bottom. Consider placing the wrapped statue in a resealable plastic bag, as well.
- You could also wrap the statue in plastic wrap or place it directly in the plastic bag without first wrapping it in a cloth. The idea is simply to protect it from as much dirt and damage as possible.
- Wrapping the statue is a matter of practicality, but more importantly, it is also a sign of respect. Even though you are burying his statue, St. Joseph is still a saint, so you should demonstrate a certain degree of respect for his likeness.
- Bury the statue.
Dig a hole in your yard that is deep enough to fit the entire statue. Place the wrapped statue inside, then fill the rest of the hole in with dirt. Note that any specifics concerning the exact placement of the statue vary depending on who you ask, so there is no one definitive choice.
- The most common tradition holds that you should bury the statue near the “For Sale” sign or near the road. Place the statue inside the hole upside-down and facing your house.
- Others insist that the statue should face the road to symbolize the act of leaving the home.
- Some traditions also suggest placing the statue right side up or lying on its back, pointing toward the house like an arrow.
- You could also consider placing the statue 3 feet (1 m) away from the rear of the house or in your rear yard flower bed.
- Consider burying the statue in a flower pot.
If you live in an apartment or a condominium, you may not have a yard that you can bury the statue in. Under these circumstances, you should bury the statue in a large flower pot. Place the flower pot on a deck, patio, or windowsill.
- The flower pot can have something growing in it, but this is not a strict necessity.
- Note that the rest of the tradition stays the same. You should still wrap the statue in protective cloth and treat it with the same degree of reverence.
- Consider keeping the statue in your home.
If the thought of burying a statue of St. Joseph seems disrespectful to you, consider placing the statue in your home, instead. Set the statue down in a window or on a counter in clear sight of the “For Sale” sign in your yard.
- When doing this, you do not need to wrap the statue in protective cloth.
- Burying the statue is a matter of tradition, not doctrine. There is no Catholic doctrine stating that burying a statue of St. Joseph will help you sell your house. Church teachings do suggest that calling for St. Joseph’s intercession when selling your home can help, though, which is why keeping a statue of St. Joseph in your home during the sale would likely work just as well as burying the statue.
Part 2 Say a Prayer
- Pray upon burial.
As soon as you bury the statue, you should say a prayer to St. Joseph, asking for his intercession. The exact prayer can vary, and you can go with a pre-written prayer or a prayer from your own heart.
- Some prayers “threaten” St. Joseph, essentially stating that he should sell your home for you if he wants to get out of the ground. These prayers somewhat undermine the value of asking for intercession, however, so they are generally not preferred.
- Consider using a simple, humble prayer, like the following:
- “O Blessed St. Joseph, tenderhearted father, faithful guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of the Mother of God, I pray you to join with me in praising God the Father through his divine Son who died on the cross and rose again to give us sinners new life. Through the holy name of Jesus, pray that we may obtain from the eternal Father the favor we ask for: our home sale. We have been unfaithful to the unfailing love of God the Father; beg of Jesus mercy for us his brothers and sisters. Amid the splendors of God’s loving presence, do not forget the sorrows of whose who weep. By your prayers and those of your most holy spouse, our blessed Lady, may the love of Jesus answer our call of confident hope. Amen.”
Say a prayer each day until the house sells. While saying a single prayer at the time of burial is good, repeating a prayer for intercession each day from that point on demonstrates a greater degree of faith and earnestness. You can say the same prayer each day or offer a different one.
- Try a nine-day novena.
Instead of saying a standard prayer each day, you could try saying a novena. A novena is a set of prayers recited over the course of nine days. There are different variations, but essentially, you say a different prayer each day and follow each prayer with an “Our Father.” Consider using the following novena:
- Day One: O 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 Two: 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 Three: 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 Four: 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 Five: 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 Six: 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 Seven: 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 Eight: 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.
Part 3 Free the Statue
- Dig up the statue when your house sells.
As soon as the contract is signed and the final details are in order, remove the statue from its place in your yard. Unwrap the protective cloth and wash away any dirt that managed to get on the statue itself.
- According to legend, if you leave the statue in the yard, the new owners of the house will not be able to stay there for a long time. New owners will come and go until the statue is finally removed.
- While there may not be any proof to back this legend, removing the statue should at least be done as a sign of respect.
- Give thanks.
Offer a prayer of thanks—first to God, and then to St. Joseph for his intercession. You can offer a prayer from your heart and in your own words, or you could say a generic pre-written prayer of thanks. Either way, the important thing is to pray with sincerity.
- An example prayer of thanks would be:
- “Heavenly Father, I thank you for my life and everything you have bestowed upon me and upon all people, this day and every day. I thank you for the good and bad, the understanding of forgiveness, and your holy power, without which we would have nothing. I thank you this day for all your blessings, your gifts, your never ending love for us. Although we all are sinners, I ask you to forgive me every day for what I might have done wrong, that I might not have noticed. Even though we all come short of the glory of God, I thank you for the sacrifice of your only son Jesus Christ for all our sins. You and only you know us Father and you know if our hearts are true. So once again, I thank you with all my heart and soul. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.”
- An example prayer of thanks would be:
- Display the statue in a place of honor in your new home.
Since intercession to St. Joseph helped you sell your home, it is customary to display the statue you buried in your new home. Doing so demonstrates gratitude and reverence.
- The display does not need to be anything fancy. Simply sitting the statue on your mantel or desk will suffice.
Add New Question
Does the statue need to be blessed when I’m burying it?
I have not read anything that says the statue needs to be blessed. All instructions do recommend to say a prayer to St. Joseph at the time of burying the statue.
Does the seller have to be the one to bury St. Joseph?
Yes, traditionally, the seller should be the one to bury the statue.
Can you take it with you if you move?
Absolutely, you should! Be sure to place him is a position of honor somewhere in the new home.
Can I bury it at the house I want to buy?
No. Digging a hole in a stranger’s yard to bury it is highly frowned upon.
I am a Jew. Will this work for me?
Yes, this will work for anyone who believes in the power of prayer.
I recently sold my house. I want to send a thank you donation. Where do I send it?
Choose a Catholic organization or church in your area.
Do I have to be Catholic for this to work?
It’s not necessary to be Catholic. You may be a Christian who believes in the holy family (Jesus, Mary and Joseph), and the Trinity of the Faithful.
Why hasn’t St. Joseph answered my prayers yet?
God isn’t a vending machine. Pray and leave the results up to Him. He hears you and will give you what you really need.
We found a St. Joseph statute left by a prior owner. Should we sell our home?
No. Just clean him off and place him in a position of honor in the home. Pray and express your gratitude to God for blessing your home and family.
Should St Joseph be buried by the For Sale sign or close to the front door?
The answer to this depends on who you ask. It makes sense to have it near the sale sign unless it’s not near your house.
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Will this work for selling commercial property?
Should I bury St. Joseph upside down?
Should I dig up the statue if I am moving away from the house where I buried it?
What should I do if the ground is frozen?
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- Believe. Burying a statue of St. Joseph should be done as an act of faith, rather than as an act of superstition or good luck. Act in sincerity, pray in earnest, and believe that the help you are asking for will come your way.
Things You’ll Need
Statue or St. Joseph OR St. Joseph home selling kit
Resealable plastic bag
To bury a statue of St. Joseph when selling a house, start by purchasing a small statue at a Catholic supply store. Next, wrap the statue in a clean, soft washcloth, or place it in a resealable plastic bag to protect it from dirt and damage. Then, bury the statue near the “For Sale” sign or near the road in front of your house. If you live in an apartment or condo, bury the statue in a large flower pot, and place it on your deck, patio, or windowsill. To learn more, including how to pray to St. Joseph after burying the statue, read on.
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In other languages:
Русский: захоронить статую Святого Иосифа, Español: enterrar a San José, Français: enterrer une statue de saint Joseph pour vendre votre maison, Português: Enterrar São José, Italiano: Sotterrare la Statua di San Giuseppe per Vendere la Casa, Bahasa Indonesia: Mengubur Patung St. Yusuf, Čeština: Jak zakopat sv. Josefa
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