My husband and I recently sold our home after several months of it being on the market. In the process there were a lot of people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who asked if we were going to bury a statue of St. Joseph in our yard.
Simple answer: no.
Now, I don’t want to mislead you: there were times when I was frustrated that our house wasn’t selling and we seemed to miss opportunities. But when I look back on it all I can so clearly see the Hand of God, holding some things back and moving other things around so everything would be better than we could have ever hoped for. During it all, even with my worries, I still had a strong feeling that it would all work out. That peace and confident trust were really important to me and so I want to share with you.
There’s three things we did in our hope to sell our home:
1 – We trusted in God’s goodness, not superstitions. Burying a statue of St. Joseph because it’s supposed to make your house sell is nothing but a superstitious act. As Christians we don’t believe in superstitions – we believe in God. I know that Catholic stores sell Home Selling St. Joseph kits. I know that there are even nuns who make and sell these kits. That doesn’t make it right. It is one thing to place St. Joseph on a piece of land or a home you wish to buy, to use St. Joseph to claim the land, and to put it under his patronage. It is another thing all together to bury his likeness in the ground because doing so is supposed to give you the results you want. God is our loving Father and He wants what’s best for us. It is good to remember that and to trust in His timing and His perfect ways.
2 – We placed the intention in Mary’s capable hands. When our home went on the market for the first time I was preparing to do a consecration to Mary using the book 33 Days to Morning Glory. During that time I entrusted Mary with my hopes that our home would sell to a nice family who loves God, and that we would find the perfect home for us to raise our kids in – a place we could all be happy for a long time. I asked her to pray for me, to talk to her Son about my intentions. When I became frustrated I would tell her, “I have no more wine!” which was my code word for: Fix this, please! When I started to doubt (in her prayers, in God’s faithfulness, whether we would ever move) I would ask her to untie the knots in my life. With her on my side I never doubted for long.
3 – We placed an image of St. Joseph in a place of honor in our home. To most people it would have looked like just another Catholic decoration, but every time I passed that image of St. Joseph I would ask him to find someone to buy our house. I spent a lot of time thinking about how St. Joseph had to find so many homes and shelters for Mary and Jesus, from the stable in Bethlehem to Egypt to Nazareth. I know he’s good at finding homes and so I asked him to also help us find a perfect home for our family.
Later this summer, when we are settled in our new home, we plan to have a housewarming party and also consecrate the house to the Holy Family. Then, when I get to Heaven, I want to thank the Holy Family for all that they did in helping us sell our house and buy a new one. I don’t want to have a conversation with Jesus about why I buried his foster father upside down in my front yard.
Now, it is definitely true that sometimes burying St. Joseph is a tradition prayerfully done by the Catholic faithful, and in those cases I cast little to no judgment. But even if it is a prayerfully done tradition that hasn’t been forbidden by the bishops that does not mean it is the best way to honor St. Joseph and include his intercession in the selling of your home. It also does not mean that we should be okay with the cultural practice of anyone and everyone burying an image of St. Joseph, aka Mary’s husband, aka Jesus’ foster father, aka the man who God chose to raise His Son, our Savior.