The other day my mother told me to stop by the gift shop at the Cathedral and buy a St. Joseph statue.
“Then you need to bury him upside down in the front yard with his feet pointing toward Heaven. Your house will sell for sure!” she said.
This is funny for several reasons. 1). We’re Baptist. 2). My mother used to sing in a gospel trio, and 3). She admitted that she has no idea who St. Joseph was or why this is supposed to work.
But she does work in real estate and she said over the years she’s heard from dozens of people who say their homes sold only after they planted St. Joseph in the yard. Which makes me wonder if one day hundreds of years from now archaeologists will excavate the lot of a particularly undesirable home and find hundreds of upside down St. Joseph figurines in the yard and then deduce that the home was occupied by some sort of weird cult.
It also made me wonder if St. Joseph should be the patron saint of PCS’s. (That’s permanent change of station, AKA, military moves, for those of you who don’t speak Uncle Sam’s native tongue.)
I shudder to imagine the thousands of military families stuck at one post trying to sell a house while the service member has to move on without them. Surely St. Joseph could intervene…
But then again, what do I know? I come from the Deep-and-Wide-Old-Rugged-Cross side of the faith. We don’t do much with the saints. When my husband and I were dating he gave me a key chain that has his unit crest printed on one side and St. Michael on the other because St. Michael is the patron saint of (among other things) paratroopers. Why? I asked him, but he didn’t know. So I joked that maybe they should have picked St. Jude instead — because he’s the patron saint of lost causes. Hubs didn’t find that very funny.
But maybe St. Jude is the more appropriate saint in this case, considering that if we’d tried to sell our house even just one year ago, we could have asked about $25,000 more for it AND sold it quickly and with very little difficulty. But the Army didn’t tell us to move last year — they told us to move this year and, according to a story in our local paper, last month (when we put the house on the market) was the very worst month for existing home sales IN TEN YEARS.
St. Jude, indeed.