Superstition Can Lead to Courage and Confidence | A Lesson from Saint Joseph

Most people my age are settled. They have lived in their home for a long time. In fact, most of my friends are in houses they bought decades ago for their once growing families. Since our children have since flown the nest, we all talk of downsizing and un-cluttering whenever we get together, but few of us ever follow through; it’s scary to leave the ol’ homestead.

In one of these discussions, Saint Joseph was brought up as a good-luck talisman for selling your home. I tried to guess why Joseph, Jesus’s father, would want to help you sell your home. Saint Francis was the patron saint for pets and nature and Saint Anthony was for lost or stolen items, but Saint Joseph? I was unsure. So, in modern fashion, we Googled it.

Like so many urban legends, nobody really knows where the ritual originated. Our search revealed that, according to Snopes, sometime in the late 20th century, realtors started buying statues of Saint Joseph and burying them, headfirst, in the yards of homes they wanted to sell. One friend, who is actively trying to sell her home, thought out loud, “It can’t hurt”, and vowed to buy a Joseph and put him on the mantle.

Then, the miracle of miracles happened; another friend, who is a perpetual rolling-stone and can’t decide where to settle down, perked up and pulled a miniature, wooden statue of Saint Joseph out of her purse. Who does that?! She explained that she carried him around to help her find a home, or maybe feel at home, wherever she was.

As I stared agape at her, it occurred to me; maybe if she set him down somewhere, she’d stay put. Or maybe I need to put one in my purse, so I’d become more adventurous, like her.

It’s scary to change. Leaving your home, your job or even your lover might be made a little easier with a bit of superstitious confidence. Courage and support come in all forms; like a little, wooden saint.