St. Joseph and Real Estate
Many folks cringe when they hear about Catholics burying statues of St. Joseph in their backyard as a way of increasing the likelihood of a quick and profitable sale. When I first heard of the idea a few years ago and saw the St. Joseph Homeseller's Kits I was a bit skeptical myself thinking this borders on superstition. As I have learned and grown in the Catholic faith and embraced the Communion of Saints (as it was originally understood) I realize we have powerful prayer partners on the other side of this thin veil.
St. Joseph has been the patron saint of families and holds a special place in the heart of the Church as the protector and foster father of the Lord Jesus. (He was also the saint my parents chose for my middle name) When families need special intervention, they ask St. Joseph for his intercession before the throne of God. Somewhere, sometime in the past, the practice of burying St. Joseph statues in your yard before selling your house was recognized as an effective devotion. The key point is that it is not the placing of a statue in the yard that sells the house. That is superstition. It is the faith and prayers of the family through the intercession of St. Joseph. The Statue provides a "touch-point" or a material reminder of a spiritual process.
It goes back to my favorite aspect of Catholicism: It is a real, tangible, physical religion with the "stuff of earth" pointing to the things in heaven.
So last week we put our house on the market and went down to our favorite Catholic bookstore and purchased a St. Joseph Homeseller's Kit for only 5.95!
See, I told ya! Those catliks do worship statues! He's even kneeling down before one right there in that picture!
PD and I went out back and buried a little Statue of St. Joseph in our garden (at the feet of our statue of St. Frank of Wegman's) and quietly prayed for his intercession to sell our house in this particularly difficult market. When we woke up the next day, we realized it was the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. Even better than that is the fact that the new parish where we are moving is 1/10th of a mile from St. Joseph the Worker Parish! (we actually found the house by doing a radius search of real estate for sale within the proximity to this Church)
Stephen Binz wrote a book called St Joseph, My Real Estate Agent. Here is a quote:
"The distinction between superstition and devotion is created by the person doing it," In other words, if you simply bury St. Joseph and count on that to sell the house, then it's superstition. If you do it as an act of faith, then it's devotion.
I will keep you apprised of the results and certainly feel free to participate in the Communion of Saints yourself and offer a prayer. Thanks!
Labels: Devotional Practices