Perhaps this borders on superstition, but overall I regard it as a very good sign: St. Joseph is helping Sacramentans sell their homes. From today’s Sacramento Bee (registration required):
“Call it folklore or divine intervention, but the practice of burying a tiny statue of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters and helper of home sellers, is thriving in Sacramento’s decidedly cool real estate market.
Catholic retailers say the little statues are flying off their shelves as the once-robust Sacramento-area housing market has slowed and driven the average time on the market up to 69 days. The peculiar phenomenon seems to run in stride with chilly markets: It flourished during slow times in the 1980s, mushroomed again during the 1990s housing slump and now is again booming and growing well beyond its Catholic roots.
Even the Sacramento Association of Realtors store on Howe Avenue sells St. Joseph …”
I have my own St. Joseph stories. Just before entering the Catholic Church, I found myself unemployed and looking for work. Someone suggested that I pray a novena to St. Joseph, the patron of fathers and workers. I spent maybe a couple of hours one evening sending resumes over the internet. As a result I received just one phone call. That one phone call resulted in a job that met my salary requirements to the penny. I was hired on May 1, 2000, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
Not long after that we learned that the diocese was going to give our Latin Mass community a church of its own, which was to become St. Stephen the First Martyr. Our community had been praying a perpetual novena to St. Joseph for this specific intention.
We immediately decided to sell our home and move closer to the new church. We again prayed a novena to St. Joseph. A few days into the novena we received three offers simultaneously. One of these was $30,000 more than our asking price. We opened escrow on March 19, the traditional Feast of St. Joseph, and moved into our new home on May 1, the other Feast of St. Joseph.
St. Joseph now has a permanent place in our devotional life. He is truly the patron of fathers and families, and he really does seem to take a peculiar interest in real estate.
Certainly it is wrong to call upon St. Joseph in a frivolous or superstitious manner. Take some time to learn something about him. Get familiar with the many devotions and prayers the Church has approved. And if you are going to ask him for help, be prepared to follow him all the way …