The Legend of St. Joseph According to Snopes

Posted by on May 19, 2010 in Blog, Legends of Saint Joseph | No Comments

Wondering where the practice of burying a St. Joe to sell your home originated?

One legend says that European nuns in the Middle Ages buried a St. Joseph medal when asking the saint to intercede on their quest for a convent.  Others claim that it started when German carpenters buried small statues in the foundations of houses they built and then said a prayer to St. Joseph.  There are many who trace he connection to a chapel building effort in Montreal in the late 1800s.  A monk named Brother Andre Bessette wanted to buy land on  Mount Royal to build an oratory.  When the landowners refused to sell Bessette began to plan St. Joseph medals on the property.  In 1896, the owners suddenly relented and sold.  Brother Andre was then able to build the small chapel.

The practice dates back at least to 1984 in the United States.  In 1990, it was very popular as realtors started to buy St. Joseph statues in bulk.  The standard practice is for the statue to be dug up once the property has sold and placed on the grateful seller’s mantle, or in another place of honor.  Some may have trouble remembering where their statue is buried, choose to leave them behind to protect the property for the new owners.

The beauty of EcoJoe:  He’s a fine little statue that you won’t mind digging up and cleaning off, giving him his rightful place in your new home.  And if you happen to leave him behind — well he’s nice charm for the happy new owners and you can feel good about his not harming the earth.

Read more here from Snope’s article called “Property Rites.”

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