The saintly real estate agent


Non-Catholic friends of ours recently were having a tough time selling their house. In the past, our friends had called upon St. Anthony to expand his powers as keeper of the lost and found to non-Catholics as well, and their cries for help had been answered. On frequent occasions, St. Anthony had helped them to find lost items ranging from keys to diamond jewelry. Upon finding out St. Joseph is reputed to have powers that help in real estate transactions, they asked once again for non-denominational help. It is my happy duty to report that upon following a very specific set of instructions, they sold their house.

I ask you, dear reader, to put aside any complaints that both St. Joseph and St. Anthony might be spreading themselves too thin in helping non-Catholics as well as Catholics. Let us instead celebrate the ecumenical spirit in which these two saints are working and fervently wish that this same spirit will be spread throughout the world. The true intention of this column is to provide you the necessary information if you need the assistance of St. Joseph in selling your house.

First, a word about St. Joseph. I have always felt he was shortchanged. Some folks I know have always pictured him spending an eternity at a heavenly VFW post being elbowed by guys gleefully making comments such as, “Virgin birth, huh!” My best recollections of him come only on his birthday when I scarf down a zeppoli or two — also known as “St. Joseph’s cake.” After all these years, I am happy to find out that St. Joseph can be helpful in a depressed housing market.

Interestingly enough, when I googled St. Joseph and his role in real estate transactions, the first choice is a website run by a outfit called Lucky Mojo Curio Co. I’m afraid I can’t vouch for the authenticity of any outfit whose name is Lucky Mojo, but here’s what I found: The site refers to St. Joseph as the Patron Saint of real estate matters and home sales (no mention of whether he had to pass an exam and get a license to practice). In addition, the site claims that St. Joseph can also help people to find employment (no mention whether they are minimum wage jobs).

It is reputed that St. Joseph saved Sicily from famine by providing that nation with a big crop of fava beans. This explains why my Sicilian grandfather loved fava beans and perhaps why they are so popular in trendy restaurants in these days where unemployment is still too high. In New Orleans, according to the site, the Sicilian practice of wishing on St. Joseph beans was picked up by African Americans. They claim that if you place seven of these beans in your pocket for seven days and then throw them into running water over your left shoulder, your wish will come true.

I digress. If it’s a house you’re trying to sell, you will need a real estate kit that consists of the following: one dressed and blessed St. Joseph candle, one statuette of St. Joseph, one bottle of St. Joseph oil, one St. Joseph chromo print and one St. Joseph holy card. The instructions add that you will also need an 8-by-10-inch standard picture frame for the print and a trowel with which to dig up the backyard. Note — if your house is like mine, you have no grass yard, so you’ll need a house plant in a large pot.

You may already be tired at this point, but lots of work still lay ahead. Keep your eye focused on the prize, selling your overpriced house to some unsuspecting schlub. Rituals vary, but Lucky Mojo recommends you light the candle and hang the print of St. Joseph where it can be seen by those viewing the house. You have to hide the holy card with your real estate papers. Spray the oil on four corners of each room, the window frames, door jams and framed print. Hold the statue in your hand, and recite the prayer specified at the Lucky Mojo website.

Hint — you are almost finished. Here’s where the trowel (and a son with a strong back) comes in handy. Bury the statue of St. Joseph upside down (if no yard, hide it in the potted plant). The statue should be facing east. Cover up the hole. Once the property sells, you must dig up the statue, clean it off and place it in a prominent place of honor in your new home. Lucky Mojo warns that if you fail to do this, trouble will bite you in the rear end (my expression) on the sale. And let’s face it, you do not want to have to go through this entire ritual again (and neither does St. Joseph).

Oh, by the way, make sure the property you wish to sell is clean and that you are asking the market value price. St. Joseph wants you to know, he’s good at what he does, but he’s no miracle worker. Lucky Mojo sells all the required items you need for your real estate kit, as if you could not guess.

It might be easier just to hire a good real estate agent. ■