Is this a sacrilege?

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Just received the local Ace Hardware store’s advertising paper today, and guess what they’re selling—a do-it-yourself home selling kit consisting of a small plastic statue of St. Joseph, plus an instruction leaflet with the "correct "prayers to say. Incredible!
I suppose the spirit in which the statue is offered would help me determine how offensive Ace is being. Are they making fun of Catholics who pray to Saints or is it a serious kit?

I’ve never used the Joseph-statue-in-the-yard devotional myself, and it seems like this might be a gag gift of sorts.
I have seen this kits in Catholic stores! This is a very old tradition.

I have seen this kits in Catholic stores! This is a very old tradition.

More properly, it is a very old superstition–and I’d like to know how old it really is.
It may seem funny, but people of simple faith spread this devotion. I used it long ago and guess what, my house sold. I had little true faith at the time but it has blossomed since. I put my statue of St. Joseph in my home in a prominent place (as you promise with this ritual). And with his help, I believe, I have become a better Catholic. St. Joseph pray for us! So do not be too quick to mock the ways of God. He reaches all of us in our own way. When I see others using this devotion I encourage them, reminding them that it is ultimately their trust in God that makes the house sell, and the prayers of St. Joseph.
It would only be sacrilege technically if the statue is blessed.
The issue isn’t sacrilege, it is superstition. Burying a statute implies that somehow, the act will cause a result.

You want to sell your house fast? Get a successful Realtor, and follow their advice. Don’t argue, or ignore what they tell you; they have sold a few more houses than you have.

Poor old St. Joseph. First, he has to live out the rest of his life with a Virgin and a Child Who can do no wrong. Then he has to put up with idiots…
My mom bought me and my husband the Saint Joseph statue when we were selling our home (the nuns sold them at their gift store where they live) anyways, we sold our home within a month.
We prayed to Jesus that our home would sell and we figured this couldn’t do any harm either since you can use all the prayers you can get, when we sold our home we dug Saint Joseph up and now he sits in our new home and we have asked him to keep us and our family in his prayers. I don’t think there was anything sinful in what we did my mom said when she was a little girl this was very common and traditional. When I can’t find something in the house I’m looking for I’ve always asked Saint Anthony to help by saying (tony, tony, look around, somethings lost and can’t be found) and boom, I always find it, its a neat way to remind me of my faith and makes me feel closer to the saints and to God.

Karl Keating:
More properly, it is a very old superstition–and I’d like to know how old it really is.
Pretty old. The tradition has been traced to Saint Teresa of Avila who prayed that Saint Joseph would intercede to obtain land for Christian converts, and encouraged her Discalced Carmelite nuns to bury Saint Joseph medals as a symbol of devotion, consecrating the ground in Joseph’s name. I do that and ask for only God’s will.

That said, the statue burying bothers me. I have bought a statue of St Joseph to sell property but never buried it. I placed it on our mantel and asked St. Joseph to intercede and seek Gods will for us. We needed to sell our home as my husband was dying of cancer. We needed/ or thought we did, money to get him into an experimental program for which insurance would not pay. We asked. we sold, the doctors turned us down. My husband was cured without further medical intervention. My 2 cents, ask, honor St Joseph and trust God like Teresa did. You don’t have to bury him, but if you do it is ok as long as you only ask for Gods will to be done.

St. Joseph is the patron Saint of Families and his prayers are powerful. He does not require his image to be buried to act as an intercessor, but if you so choose to do so, be very sure you ask only Gods will. That and only that is what Joseph will ask for.
Hopefully the directions don’t mention burying the statue.

Without the burying, it’s certainly not superstitious. St. Joseph found us a house and when we sell it I’m sure he’ll help then, too.
Actually yes, the instructions said to bury Saint Joseph and I don’t pray to saints I pray to God, I asked Saint Joseph to pray for us to God.
I actually asked the nuns exactly how I was supposed to use the Saint Joseph statue and they told me how to bury it, ask Saint Joseph to pray for us and the sale of our home and of course to leave it in God’s hands also they also told me if I didn’t want to bury it that was fine too. They said if used correctly it can be just another great way to remind us of how God and the saints are there for us. We included our kids in this and they found it fun and wanted to know more about Saint Joseph and that opened up a whole form for discussion that was so neat.
A secular store selling somthing that is associated with the catholic faith? I’m shocked!!! :clapping:
I’m very surprised to find out that it is Ace hardware that you found the statue in but come to think of it I’m from a small town where everyone knows who everyone is and the hardware store owners just happen to be Catholic so maybe that is the case with this store where the statue was found? If they are just selling it as a joke then I would be very disgusted but if they are truely just trying to reach out to Catholics then thats kinda nice. 🙂
Karl Keating:
More properly, it is a very old superstition–and I’d like to know how old it really is.
It’s almost like Voodoo (see article in …Crisis) where a symbol of Catholicism has an alternative use in paganism.

For sacrilege I think it’s hard to top the Lipton TV commercial with the fella in line for communion with a bowl of chip dip.

Karl, once again, thanks for the great forum. And I still haven’t forgotten your request for a ride in the Falcon
The instructions do say to bury St. Joseph. In fact, I think you are supposed to bury him head down. I have seen these “kits” in Leaflet Missal Co. catalog. My mom and I had heard of the custom but were surprised to see it offered for sale in that catalog. Gosh, I know I couldn’t buy one around here in the Bible belt and I would be embarrassed to see one for sale here. The fundamentalists here think we are idol worshippers already. No need to add fuel to the fire. I personally feel that they do border on superstition. I would not go so far as to say sacrilege. I think the most reasonable thing is what Marie said. Put the statue in a prominent place in your house and ask St. Joseph’s intercession. I don’t see any reason to actually bury it in the ground.
I just happened to google it and found hundreds of credible Catholic stores selling them and the instructions are to bury them upside down.
My mom’s cousin who married my mom and dad 40 years ago (he is a priest 😃 ) put it best when he said, if your doing it the right way as in not being voodoo acting about it, not being supersticious about it just something you are doing in your own household and only asking St.Joseph to pray for you to God and then of course praying to God along with it, No harm done)
Again, we were just going to set it out but our kids were just hot to follow the instructions as my mom told them all about it and what the nuns said and they were like (oh, that is so cool) and not only that, we marked the spot where we buried St.Joseph and our kids were guarding that spot from animals, etc. and they were praying fervently to Jesus, it really opened up doors for discussion. If this hardware store is selling these statues to make fun of Catholics, personally, I would not step foot in that store again, I have really only seen these statues ever sold by Catholic web stores and Catholic nuns & Catholic book stores, I’m really surprised to hear of them in a hardware store and would not be one bit afraid to question the store owner of his/her intentions.
There are also priests who think they should be married…I have personaly been in many credible catholic stores and found books on Ennergrams, centering prayer, and Hildegard new age feminism…

I do not accept the argument that "as long as its done for one purpose and not the “other”…Does that mean as long as witches practice only “white magic” we can now cut them some slack? Can we now go to psychics to find out if a loved one will ever be saved, or become a priest or nun…as long as we dont go to one looking for answers on wealth, jobs, etc?

Sacrilege is the defiling of holy things (short answer)
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