St. Joseph: to bury or not to bury, that is the question
As some of you may know, I will be moving shortly to begin my doctoral studies. Therefore, I am trying to sell my house, and being that I live in a heavily culturally Catholic area, nearly everyone I talk to encourages commands me to bury a St. Joseph statue outside the house. If I do, the house is guaranteed to sell in no time.
I have consistently dismissed the notion as superstitious. Nevertheless, my mother recently bought and delivered a St. Joseph Home Sellers Kit, just in case I changed my mind. Out of curiousity I opened the small box and inside were two cards, one with instructions and another with the history behind the tradition. Still curious, I read on…
The solemn tradition of burying Saint Joseph in the earth can be traced back hundreds of years to Saint Teresa of Avila. She was a nun who prayed to Saint Joseph because he was the protector of the Holy Family and the patron saint of homes. When her nuns needed more land for convents she encouraged them to bury Saint Joseph medals in the ground and pray as a symbol of their devotion.
This prayerful practice was probably brought to this continent by the Blessed Andre of Montreal, Canada. Through prayer to Saint Joseph he was able to build a great shrine on Mount Royal in Montral in honor of Saint Joseph. He secretly chose a spot on the mountain, buried a medal of the saint and prayed for his intercession.
The practice eventually evolved from medals to statues where one can pay honor to Saint Joseph afterwards by placing the statue in the new house so he can continue to bless you.
Personally, I still think it is superstitious. It feels like by burying that statue people believe they have some control over what God is going to do. It seems to be less about faith and more about, “well…. it works, so you might as well try it.” I have no desire to try to control God’s will (or anyone else’s) by planting a statue. I will ask St. Joseph to intercede and pray for God’s will to be done and for the grace to accept. But that’s just me.
What do you think ?