Burying St. Joseph?

I learned something at mass on Friday that I couldn’t wait to share!  Have you heard of the tradition of burying a St. Joseph statue in your garden when trying to sell a house?  It’s a very common practice here in Louisiana, even among non-Catholics.

During his homily about St. Andre’ Bessette (Friday’s saint), Fr. told about this tradition.  He said that St. Andre’, a lay brother in the Congregation of Holy Cross, had a great devotion to St. Joseph.  When his community wanted to build an oratory to serve the young people in the Montreal area, they needed to purchase some adjacent land.  The owners of the land refused to sell to the brothers.  Andre’ went out onto the middle of the property in question and buried some St. Joseph medals.  He knelt there and asked St. Joseph’s intercession.  A few days later, the owners of the property had a change of heart, and sold the land to the brothers of Holy Cross.  An oratory was built and named for St. Joseph.

Thus started the tradition of asking St. Joseph’s intercession for the buying and selling of property.  Father advised us that the tradition is good, as long as it is not used as a superstition or good luck charm.  Asking for prayers from St. Joseph, Jesus’ foster-father is fine.   If it’s God’s Will, your house will sell!

About danardoyle

I am a Catholic, working wife and mother. I have three children ages 14, 20 and 27. I am extremely busy, as you can imagine. I aim each and every day to put God first in my life, to teach my children the Faith, to be a supportive spouse, keep the house in order, and do my job outside of the home well, too. That's an impossible task - without Divine intervention! Here, I hope to share my triumphs and struggles with other working moms in the same boat. I will share the tools I have discovered to making it all work - most days!
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12 Responses to Burying St. Joseph?

  1. Sue Elvis says:

    Hi Dana,

    I love this story. I have never buried a St Joseph statue as we’ve never had a home to sell! We are still living in the very first home of our own. (And we don’t want to move!) But… I am convinced it was our prayers to St Joseph that resulted in us being able to buy our house. He is such a wonderful intercessor for families.

    Did I hear that St Andre Bessette was only canonised in 2010? He is unfamiliar to me and I shall have to find out more.

    God bless!

  2. Sharon says:

    We have some dear friends who a few years ago needed to sell their house, and it was difficult because it had structural problems they had been dealing with. They prayed fervently to St. Joseph, and the house sold, and they were able to move into a newer, much better house in the same neighborhood. They said they decided not to bury a statue, though, because like you said, they didn’t want to be superstitious.

    • danardoyle says:

      I’m sure that St. Joe still interceded for them. The burying thing does bother me a bit – I’ve heard that the custom is to bury him upside down. That seems disrespectful. I have no idea as to the origin of that custom. Thanks for reading, Sharon!

  3. Elizabeth Sintes says:

    We did that and within the week we sold our house. WE could not find the statue after the house sold but we do have a statue of St Joseph we honor and always have honored Him. I have one daughter who buried St Joseph and her house sold before it was listed while she was interviewing agents. And my other daughter refused to bury St Joseph but buried his medals and she too sold her house quickly. So yes we are believers. Mere

  4. I’ve never heard about burying a statue. Although I know St Joseph does hear our prayers and seeks God’s help for us.

    God bless.

  5. mark says:

    Does this apply if you want to sell just a piece of land (no structure)? Should you bury Saint Joseph upside down as other websites would suggest? Most important, is it really acceptable in Catholic tradition? do you not sin in doing so? Many thanks!

    • danardoyle says:

      I have been told by a priest that certainly asking St. Joseph for his intercession in selling/buying a home is a good thing. He was o.k. with using the prayer and small statue in the garden, however, the turning it upside down part seems “superstitious” as opposed to “religious.” We have to be careful about that. Thanks for reading!

  6. Mark says:

    Was he ok about the burying of the statue (you said “He was o.k. with using the prayer and small statue in the garden”)? And is it applicable if you would like to sell only a piece of land with no structure?

    • danardoyle says:

      In the story I told about the origins of the St. Joseph tradition, it was actually a piece of land that someone was trying to acquire, not a structure – and it was St. Joseph medals that were buried, not a statue.

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