Down East 2013 ©
A few weeks ago, my Dad calls me up for a little advice.
“Ida,” he says, “a friend of mine wants to sell his condo, and he’s on the third floor. Where does he bury St. Joseph?”
“Huh! Beats me. Let me do a little research, Dad, and I’ll get back to you.”
You’ve heard of this, right? You want to sell your house, so you bury a statue of St. Joseph upside down in the yard. You do a novena every day for nine days, St. Joseph puts in a word with the Big Guy, and you sell you house lickety-split. We did this when Dad put his house on the market, a few years after our mother died. Worked like a charm.
It was easy to get the scoop on the whole St. Joseph thing back then because we had someone on the inside, my father’s sister, Georgiana. Get this: Georgiana left Mahoosuc Mills when she was seventeen years old, and went to France to become a nun. Her parents wanted her to wait a year, but she felt a calling. Besides, Georgiana knew: another year in Mahoosuc Mills and she’d be married. She made the right decision, too, ‘cause Georgiana had an impressive career: teaching, running a hospital, being on the Provincial Counsel and finally, working with older nuns as they were preparing to die. Georgiana passed away herself last October. She was ninety-three, and she’d just had her Jubilee Celebration: seventy-five years as a nun.
Georgiana was a sister of St. Joseph, and the statue that Dad buried in his yard was hers, a beautiful wooden one, hand carved in Italy. Needless to say, with that kind of juju, Dad’s house sold a week after the sign went up. ‘Course it helped that Irene and me cleaned and de-cluttered that place to within an inch of it’s life. Still, that’s impressive!
With the passing of Georgiana, I’d lost my go-to person for all things Catholic, so I was on my own with the question of St. Joseph and the condo. I decided to go directly to the source: the Internet, which I’m slowly getting the hang of. (I think!)
I googled “sell house St. Joseph,” and found tons of stuff. There were lot’s of Web sites for Catholic gift shops, of course. Apparently, the St. Joseph House Selling Kits are one of their most popular items. Who can argue with success, right?
There was also some conflicting information on what prayers you’re supposed to say once you bury St. Joseph, and whether he should be facing the house or the road. But Georgiana told us to put St. Joseph upside down, facing your house, so I’m standing by that. My niece Caitlin says it doesn’t really matter because it’s all about “intention,” but that’s too woo-woo for me. I say just choose something and get behind it.
After losing a couple hours on the Internet (‘cause that’s what happens. You start researching St. Joseph House Selling Kits and end up ordering a new summer pocketbook with matching umbrella), I reported back.
“Dad,” I says, “tell your friend with the condo to get a flower pot, fill it with dirt and put it outside his door. He’s supposed to bury St. Joseph in the pot upside down, facing the condo. And once it sells, he should put St. Joseph in a place of honor in his new home, just like you did.”
On Sunday, we had a little get together at Irene’s for Mother’s Day. After dinner, Dad says, “Oh, you remember my friend with the condo?”
“Sure do, Dad.”
“He sold it in six days?”
“Wow!” I says. “Once again, St. Joseph comes through!”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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