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Urban Legends

Burying St. Joseph

The Legend

Collected in May 1998

St. Joseph, the patron saint of real estate, has the power to help those who have a house on the market. If you bury St. Joseph beneath your "for sale" sign, you will receive the help you need.

A woman in New Mexico had a house that sat unsold for nine months. She received instructions on burying the saint in her house's front yard, and the house sold within a week.

A man had put St. Joseph beneath his sign as instructed but his house still didn't sell. After the house had been on the market for a month, the man's wife couldn't take any more and dumped him. His hot young realtor said she would move in with him if he got a better place, and that's when the house finally sold.

A woman decided to sell her Phoenix, Arizona, house at 10% above market value. She planted St. Joseph and the house sold immediately. The people who bought the house tried the same trick. As did the people who bought it from them, the people who bought it from them, and the people who bought it from them. The house is now listed at 240% over its market value, and it just found a buyer, all thanks to the first blessing.


Behind the Legend

It is a demonstratable fact that burying St. Joseph in your yard will help you sell your house. The difficulty arises when one attempts to get the saint (or, more commonly, a piece of him) in order to perform the burial. The Tabernacle of St. Joseph the Worker in Egypt is the official burying place of St. Joseph, and they have a heavily used "lending library" of the saint's relics. Guidelines on the Tabernacle's Web site state that a simple toe or finger bone should be sufficient for the sale of a reasonable-sized private home, but that corporate campuses or other large holdings can only be helped by St. Joseph's skull or another significant assembly of parts (e.g., a lower arm).

The waiting list for pieces of St. Joseph is some two years long. Others have tried to jump on the bandwagon, hocking simple plastic statues of the saint for the purpose of helping property sell, but these are ineffective. Homeowners should also beware fakers selling inexpensive pieces of St. Joseph, as these are generally simple wax reproductions or relics of unrelated saints.

So in a nutshell: St. Joseph can indeed help you sell your home. And just for the record, we hear his aspirin is good, too.


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