I Broke the Head Off St. Joseph

Real Estate Sales Representative with Fieldstone Real Estate

Today is “St. Joseph’s Day”… St. Joseph is widely considered the patron saint of home and family.   As such, some people incorporate the use of a statue of St. Joseph in their efforts when they sell a home.   There are varying instructions as to how to incoporate the statue (bury it, bury it upside down, bury it near the for sale sign, etc).  Sometimes it’s done by the homeowners, sometimes the agent.  And, as this article explains, we definitely saw more use of this technique in 2007-2009 when the market was, generally speaking, in the tank….

And while you may hear stories of St. Joseph from lots of agents… I am pretty sure you’re not going to hear this story anywhere else.
Once upon a time, I had a client, Jamie, who was planning to relocate from Nebraska to the Dulles area for her husband’s job.   As is usually the case, the market here was faring better than most areas of the country – Nebraska included, and Jamie knew it!  So, she was rightfully concerned about the time it would take to sell her home.

Enter St. Joseph.

Encouraged by her REALTOR there, she bought a St. Joseph statue and proceeded to follow the instructions.

Just one problem… She broke his head attempting to bury him upside down!

At this point, I know I can not retell the story the way I heard it.  Jamie is a funny lady anyway, and to hear her tell the story of how she reacted when his head broke was absolutely PRICELESS.    Just take a minute and imagine Lucille Ball in this circumstance. Got it?  That’s the picture I got, too.  It goes something like this…

Bury it anyway…. Try to pretend you don’t know you broke his head off.
Feel guilty.  Unbury him.
Attempt to tape him back together.  Realize this is not going to work.
Try to glue his head on & re-bury…. only to break his head off again, several times.
Cry.  Feel doomed. Swear never to tell your husband.
Call your REALTOR and ask about the limits of the “Confidentiality” clause in the listing agreement before deciding whether to confess and ask for direction.  The REALTOR is too vague on whether she can keep secrets from the husband that relate to the sale of their home.  Decide she can not be trusted with this secret.
Buy a new St. Joseph.  Bury it.
Throw broken St. Joseph in the trash.
Realize this is the thing curses are made of.
Observe a stream of bad luck for several days.
Think your house will never sell now.
Feel urge to confess.
Dig broken St. Joseph out of trash.
Consider going to confession.
Instead, call your mother.
Eventually, go see the local Priest.

ANYWAY… I have good news.  Apparently, this, too, is a forgivable sin.  The Priest had a “formula” for correcting the issue… (apparently this has happened more than once!).  Jamie was able to follow the priests instructions without further error.

The best news is, shortly after St. Joseph was properly buried, her home sold and they were able to purchase here. They have been living in the Dulles area since 2008.

After remembering this story today, I just had to call her.  I wonder, when she gets my message, if she will laugh or cry remembering the ordeal.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I can see Lucy now, that is so funny.  I have some people that want st. Joseph and the prayer that goes with it.  I will do what ever they want.

Mar 19, 2014 03:41 AM #1
Anne Hensel
South Beaches Real Estate Professionals - Saint Petersburg, FL
Realtor - Broker - St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island

What a hilarious story and the way you wrote it!!  Yes Lucille would be able to have a lot of mileage with this one!!  Thanks for letting me know it is St Josephs day!

Mar 19, 2014 11:14 AM #2
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Cute story Vickie about the head... and I could see Lucy trying to glue it back on...lol 

These statues do work for the believers and have worked a my listings.

Jan 15, 2016 04:08 AM #3
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

how interesting;) 

 i never did it. But whatever you think can help, use it with no doubt:)

Jan 19, 2016 03:39 AM #4
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

OMG....I love this story!

I have used St. Joseph and it wasn't easy burying him because it was December and the ground was frozen!

Jan 19, 2016 11:05 PM #5
Jack Panzarella

What happened to the broken Saint Joseph?

Nov 19, 2016 12:39 AM #6
Brandon Parrott

What was the priest's method? I ordered one from Amazon and when I got it the he'd was broken off!

Jun 13, 2017 09:30 AM #7
Karen Maheral

I too would like to know the priest's method. I have also broken off the head of St Joseph

Sep 10, 2017 04:40 PM #8
Maryann McC

So do I leave St. Joseph's head in the ground? Add his body? Get a new one? What's the answer to this dilemma?

Aug 14, 2019 04:40 PM #9

May you share what the priest recommended. I too have accidentally broken the head off.

Mar 16, 2020 04:52 PM #10

Broken head here too. Ordered another. What do I do with the broken one? I’mNot catholic.

Apr 10, 2020 12:01 PM #11

Love these comments!! Well I've supported many friends & family with the St Joseph theory. I've buried, I've prayed. 2017, we had 3 selling at once. But I accidentally left my statue buried in another State when I sold there (which I believe is a cardinal sin!), & I didn't have time to buy 3 new statues. I improvised. #1 My own home I used a cross statue from my desk along with a St Joseph metal necklace. #2, daughters house, we used her papa's treasured cross & St Anthony necklaces with Angel statue I had. #3, a family friend, I used a printed sheet of the St Joseph prayer with his picture and another angel statue. All items were buried upside down, head facing the front door. We all sold our homes the 1st day. No joke. Flawless! Then another family member needed to sell. I actually bought a statue, buried it, we prayed the prayer together. Multiple offers the 1st day, over asking. Which is crazy since this was June of 2020 during pandemic. They close next week. Arrangements were made so out of town buyer would sign off early & rent back 1 week before closing. They move in today so last night I went alone to grab the statue. Plucked St J. out of the ground, he's decapitated!! AND I can't find the head. I was laughing so hard, yet freaking out at the same time. Is it a 2020 sign?? I took him with me, left the head somewhere in the ground. Figured a part of him remaining was better than nothing. Praying they close this week!! Am not telling my friend until it closes. HAHAHA

Jul 25, 2020 06:26 AM #12
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