St. Joseph

Informant: My informant, M.A., is 18 and was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. M.A. parents both work as corporate lawyers and he hopes to pursue the same career. M.A. is also a practicing Catholic and is strongly connected to his religion. He has one brother and two sisters with the family being almost fully Americanized but still hold on to some of his Syrian heritage.

Folklore: “The patron saint of homes and real estate purchases is considered to be St. Joseph. The myth goes that if you are ever having a hard time trying to sell your house, you are supposed to bury a statue of St. Joseph head first in the backyard. If you complete this then the process of selling your house will be completed much quicker and smoothly.” M.A. heard this piece of folklore from an old neighbor in Connecticut who was having trouble selling his house. M.A. claimed that the neighbor did perform this task, but was not able to sell his house for another six months afterwards. M.A. is still strongly connected with his religion and does believe in these quirky traditions, but he also feels like people should not rely completely on these myths.

Analysis: I have never heard this myth before, but I did think it was peculiar as to why you would need to bury a statue of St. Joseph head first or even bury him at all in the backyard. These little stories might not actually provide any help like it did to Matt’s neighbor, but it is used mainly as a way to give people hope when they feel like they have done everything in their power to sell their house.