Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Cheryl Dickow

A dear Christian friend recently asked me, "Why do Catholics bury statues of St. Joseph?" Apparently my friend's Catholic neighbor was putting his house up for sale and along with pounding in a "For Sale" sign in the front lawn, buried a statue. A St. Joseph statue, as my friend was soon to find out. And, in response to my friend's inquiry as to why a Catholic would bury a statue of St. Joseph, was given the alarming response, "It's good luck!" As you can imagine, this answer didn't sit well with my Christian friend, and rightly so.

Good luck? Do we Catholics believe in luck, good, bad, or otherwise, in such a way that it is part of our faith? Of course we don't. Or at least we shouldn't. But are we giving that impression? Certainly there are the times when the case isn't an impression so much as a misinterpretation of what we do. But a Catholic response that says, "It's good luck!" isn't a misinterpretation or even an impression. It is a downright violation of what the Catechism teaches on superstitions and thus very, very bad for the image of Catholics let alone the practitioner of such an act. And, really, I believe we all ought to care how we present ourselves and our living, vibrant faith to the world. So today I take umbrage with Catholics who bury statues and tell their curious Christian brethren that it is for "good luck."

Sadly, too many Catholics today are being catechized by sources such as the secular news, popular magazines, outspoken "conservatives" who must certainly have it "right," and, with greater impact, new age literature thinly veiled as Christianity. Dare I ask how many Catholics purchased Oprah's latest recommendation or get their daily dose of faith from Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen? I would be afraid to truly discover the answer to these questions. Isn't our beloved Catechism, hundreds of Vatican documents and Papal encyclicals, and Sacred Scripture enough? Add to that the works of wonderful, completely unknown Catholic authors who are trying to bring their works of fiction and non-fiction to the marketplace but seemingly find little or no support from the Catholic populace at large. How can we be over a billion strong and not have the top five, even top ten, spots on the New York Times bestseller lists for fiction and non-fiction? We could be immersed in our faith, and by our sheer numbers be immersing the world at large, and yet we aren't.

Sadly then, when our faith is developed through secular influences and we are indoctrinated in the ways of the world, we are sometimes prone to behavior that perpetuates the labels that outspoken anti-Catholics throw our way. How often are our dollars supporting ministries that are actually anti-Catholic in nature? Between our actions of misunderstanding (burying statues for good luck) and our purchases of books, tapes, and CD's from sources outside of the Catholic Church, we are feeding the anti-Catholic machine. This isn't being persecuted for His sake but being persecuted because we err in our ways. Sadly, even well-intentioned Catholics end up practicing their faith in a manner that is not grounded in the teachings of the Church and then add to this dilemma; thus we have a Catholic who buries a statue of St. Joseph and tell a curious neighbor, "It is for good luck."

I believe it is important for Catholics to be cautious of presenting themselves as a superstitious lot making use of what outsiders call "amulets, spells, and incarnations." For many there is an understanding of the difference between all these things and teachings of our faith that encourages us to use the intercession of angels and saints (like St. Joseph). And for many others there is a belief that we think we know enough about our faith to practice and preach it successfully. Maybe this second bunch is the most dangerous bunch and I believe we have all spent too much time in this category, often having just enough knowledge to be dangerous. And for still others the line of understanding has been blurred and many have crossed over into practicing our faith in such a way that onlookers might rightly call us "superstitious" or even "idolaters." It is alarming the rate in which new-age books and teachings are making their way into our pews. Mix that with our Sacred Traditions and we have many Catholics practicing a morphed version of Catholicism.

This is undoubtedly why, in a recent interview with Catholic talk show host Teresa Tomeo, she had encouraged Catholics everywhere to know their faith better, more thoroughly. As she said, not through conversations with one another that have been influenced by the secular world's presentation of the Catholic faith but by studying Church letters, reading Scripture along with the Catechism, and participating in studies that have been approved by at least one Church organization. These are only the tip of the iceberg in regards to ways in which we grow and learn as Catholics because, of course, websites faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium offer a wealth of information as well. But how many other sites are out there, just waiting to pull us in?

But let's get back, specifically, to burying that St. Joseph statue. As a Catholic it is important to understand that we do believe in our ability to ask for intercession. However, unlike other Christian faiths, we are not limited to those who are with us now, in the flesh and blood, but we also rely on those who have gone before us, the whole of the "Communion of Saints." We also have what are called "Patron Saints."

Catholics need only to look to the Catechism (truly an easy-to-read book absolutely filled with every single thing you need to know about our faith) to understand that the communion of saints is that body of Christ that includes the living and the dead; thus, our ability to ask for intercession knows no earthly bounds.

Patron Saints would be those faithful elect who are believed to be in God's presence and are given to us as heavenly intercessors for a variety of specific needs. For instance, St. Luke is the Patron Saint of Surgeons while St. Rita is the Patron Saint of Parenthood. And, as you can probably guess by now, St. Joseph as he was a carpenter, although the Patron Saint of the Universal Church, is also seen as a Patron Saint of homes and, for the past few decades or more, home sales. Sadly, I came across a website offering a "Real Estate Spell Kit" that included: 1 Dressed and Blessed Saint Joseph Candle, 1 Statuette of Saint Joseph, 1 Bottle Saint Joseph Oil, 1 Saint Joseph Chromo Print, and 1 Saint Joseph Holy Card. It was actually called a 'spell kit!' I can only hope and pray that no Catholic has purchased this kit.

Now, what does the Catholic Church specifically teach about such practices as burying a St. Joseph statue to sell a home? Interestingly, because the Church in her wisdom understands her own roots and teachings, and has great confidence in her people, neither agrees nor disagrees with such practices. Essentially the Church says, although these are my words and not hers, "When you abide by the practices of our faith and never cross into superstition induced behavior, it could make perfect sense to bury a statue because it isn't the act of burying the statue that you see as having value and benefit but, instead, the intercession of St. Joseph, whom you rightly call upon for help. These things that move you towards a deeper relationship with God and an understanding of His commands can be good for you. They can help you grow in your faith."

But beware! The Church counts on us to understand her teachings and move forward in wisdom and knowledge so that all we do reflects what the Church teaches us about our faith. When we are not grounded in the teachings of our one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church, we are vulnerable and might rightly be called to task for our behavior.

So, with spring here and many people putting their homes up for sale, all I ask is this...Should someone approach you about burying a statue of St. Joseph please don't tell them it will bring you luck! We Catholics don't need the bad press.


Cheryl Dickow is a Catholic publisher, author, and speaker. Her website is www.BezalelBooks.com.

Contact

Ask, Knock, and Seek
http://www.BezalelBooks.com , US
Cheryl Dickow - author and speaker, 248 917-3865

Email

BezalelBooks@gmail.com

Keywords

St. Joseph

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 250 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Priestly Identity: Crisis and Renewal (Part 1)
Catholic Online

Al Qaeda...afraid of Benedict's message!
Hugh McNichol

Benedict XVI...calling all to hope...
Hugh McNichol

Perfect Women
Cheryl Dickow

Papal Palm Sunday Address - 'Enough With the Bloodshed'
Catholic Online

Spotlight on China
Catholic Online

Papal Homily for Palm Sunday
Catholic Online

Holy Week...Holy Time!
Hugh McNichol

Mary and Motherhood
Cheryl Dickow

The Void
Paul Sposite

Islamic violence wounds the global community!
Hugh McNichol

The Seven New Deadly Sins!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic benefits include Catholic principles!
Hugh McNichol

Remembering Father Alfred Kunz
Matt C. Abbott

David vs Goliath
Theresa Lisiecki

Happy Lent!
Paul Sposite

Diplomacy...Vatican style!
Hugh McNichol

Sub umbra Petri! (Under the Shadow of Saint Peter)
Hugh McNichol

Cuba...a neonascent Church!
Hugh McNichol

Kids in Conflict
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Writings of St. Augustine
Catholic Online

The Relevance of Lourdes at 150
Catholic Online

Hillary...what would Saint Norbert say!
Hugh McNichol

Lent...questions, answers and involvement!
Hugh McNichol

Mary, Mother of all Humanity, Hic et Nunc!
Hugh McNichol

Catholics...WAKE UP!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic Brotherhood with the People of the Covenant
Hugh McNichol

Have mercy on us O Lord! - Ash Wednesday
Hugh McNichol

Vote early, vote Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Christ, our global Alpha and Omega!
Hugh McNichol

Being Catholic means...total affirmation of being Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Seeing the World through New Eyes
Sarah Reinhard

Emulating the Angelic Doctor!
Hugh McNichol

Priests defend, commend Archbishop Raymond Burke
Matt C. Abbott

Saint Paul...a continued example of radical conversion!
Hugh McNichol

A renaissance of faith, reason and global cooperation....
Hugh McNichol

Cardinal Rigali's Homily at Life Vigil
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Silencing the Pope
Catholic Online

Papal Homily on Feast of Christ's Baptism
Catholic Online

Education and Gender
Catholic Online

The ignominy of Roe vs. Wade
Hugh McNichol

Papal Message for World Day of the Sick
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Planned Lecture at La Sapienza
Catholic Online

Pope's Letter to Jesuits' 35th General Congregation
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - Behold, the Lamb of God!
Catholic Online

That We May Be One, and Never Lose Heart
Catholic Online

Sowing Hope in Sierra Leone
Catholic Online

God-incidences are the gift of kairos moments
Mary Regina Morrell

St. Augustine's Last Days
Catholic Online

Liturgy: When There's a Medical Emergency
Catholic Online

Marriage and Celibacy: Love's Link
Catholic Online

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Rooms in My Father's House
Cheryl Dickow

Resolutions for New Year 2008
Chris Anthony

Keep teaching Holy Father!!!
Hugh McNichol

Dangers of anti-Catholic academic extremism....
Hugh McNichol

The liturgy war
Matt C. Abbott

Some Answers to a Few Common Questions about Vocations
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Christmas reflections
Chris Anthony

The Lasting Contribution of The Servant of God Pope John Paul II
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

No more bobble-head Jesus'!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Baptist World Alliance
Catholic Online

The Virgin Without Sin
Catholic Online

Cardinal Vingt-Trois on His New Mission
Catholic Online

Archbishop Forte on Religion & Freedom: Part 1
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Chromatius of Aquileia, Pope, Benedict
Catholic Online

Pope's Address for Consistory of Cardinals
Catholic Online

Trafficking in Lives
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict - On Hope
Catholic Online

The Hidden Costs of Gambling
Catholic Online

A Vital, Life-Giving Message
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Christianity's Contribution
Catholic Online

Youth and Fashion's Modest Twist
Catholic Online

Papal Homily at the Consistory
Catholic Online

Love, Marriage and Happy Kids
Catholic Online

The Virtue of Obedience: Our Duty, Our Crown
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Vere dignum et justum est!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Bishops of Kenya
Catholic Online

Democracy in Danger in Venezuela
Catholic Online

The Life-Sapping Human Virus
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Sacred Time...Come Lord Jesus!
Hugh McNichol

How Christ-like are we in our lives?
Chris Anthony

A Retreat for Today's Christian Woman
Cheryl Dickow

Pope Benedict - On Trust in God
Catholic Online

God and Caesar Seen From Down Under
Catholic Online

Praying the Luminous Mysteries for our Clergy
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Culture's Pressure on Our Girls
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Papal Message on the Common Good
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - St. Jerome on the Bible
Catholic Online

What Every Parent Should Know About 'The Golden Compass'
Catholic Online

Cardinal Poupard on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

A Richer Liturgical Translation: Interview With Bishop Roche
Catholic Online

U.S. Bishops' Statement on War in Iraq
Catholic Online

The 'Golden Compass' is no treasure for children
Mary Regina Morrell

Bishop Skylstad's Address to U.S. Bishops' Fall Meeting
Catholic Online

Rewarding Failure
Catholic Online

On St. Martin of Tours
Catholic Online

Undermining Parents
Catholic Online

God...our theological E.F.Hutton!
Hugh McNichol

The Secular Vs. Religion?
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Jerome
Catholic Online

The Scourge of Poverty
Catholic Online

Sons and Daughters of God...EQUALLY!
Hugh McNichol

On Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Catholic Online

Why Dads Matter
Catholic Online

Archbishop Chaput on Citizenship and Evangelization
Catholic Online

God Created Man for Life, Not Death
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for November
Catholic Online

Imposing 'Tolerance'
Catholic Online

Evangelizing a Digital World
Catholic Online

A Turn to the Fathers: Interview With Father Robert Dodaro
Catholic Online

Aborting Viable Lives
Catholic Online

Women Religious on Human Trafficking
Catholic Online

Chicago law firm fights for civil rights, against death culture
Matt C. Abbott

Fr. Cantalamessa - The Pharisee and the Publican
Catholic Online

Media Benefits and Dangers
Catholic Online

On the Call to Martyrdom
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

John Crosby on Von Hildebrand's Understanding of the Person
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Ambrose of Milan
Catholic Online

On Peace, Missions and Justice
Catholic Online

Address of Holy See on Religious Liberty
Catholic Online

Recovering subtle signs of our Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Catholic Online

Christ's Parable About the Need to Pray Always
Catholic Online

Prostitution: Legal Work or Slavery?
Catholic Online

Escaping Poverty: Interview With Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Catholic Online

Congratulations to His Eminence John Cardinal Foley!
Hugh McNichol

Giving Ourselves Completely to Mary
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

The 'Courage' to go 'Beyond Gay'
Matt C. Abbott

When Bioethics Turned Secular
Catholic Online

Confession Comeback
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Hilary of Poitiers
Catholic Online

Reemergence of Global Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Father Cantalamessa on the Leap of Faith
Catholic Online

Month of the Rosary
Catholic Online

Why Technology Needs Ethics
Catholic Online

Cardinal Lozano Barragán on Future of Health Care
Catholic Online

How Can Catholics Understand Mary as Co-Redemprix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate?
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

New Saint Book is Visually Stunning and Filled with Detail
Lisa M. Hendey

Papal Homily in Velletri
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa Analyzes Relationship
Catholic Online

Wednesday'a Audience - On St. Cyril of Alexandria
Catholic Online

Holy See Address to U.N. General Assembly
Catholic Online

Homily From Red Mass in Washington
Catholic Online

Pope Remembers Cardinal Van Thuân
Catholic Online

Faith in Politics
Catholic Online

The brave monks of Myanmar
Chris Anthony

On Lazarus and World Hunger
Catholic Online

Fighting the Good Fight: Resisting Temptation
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Media frenzy buries U.N. goals

Holy See Statement on Climate Change
Catholic Online

China's Seven Sorrows
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Chrysostom's Social Doctrine
Catholic Online

Vatican Message to Muslims for Ramadan
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the First World and Lazarus
Catholic Online

Angels, God's Messengers in a world of fragile peace and Broken promises!
Hugh McNichol

Memo to Mrs. Clinton: Why Not Baby Bonds When Life Begins?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Reorienting the Mass
Catholic Online

Report Card on Religious Freedom
Catholic Online

On Wealth and Poverty
Catholic Online

A Response to Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great'
Catholic Online

Vetoing children's health care?

The ideal family
Joseph Sinasac

Who does the judging?
Dennis Heaney

One mistake away

The Big House ban

In praise of the parish

Text of the USCCB statement for Respect Life Sunday 2007

The Outstanding Purity of Our Blessed Mother
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Educated flock

Religion and politics

Facing a door to the future
Dennis Heaney

A long debate

Who Are the True Progressives?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Petraeus offers a dose of reality

Insurgence
Robert Storr

Papal Address at Vespers
Catholic Online

Papal Coat of Arms Still Relevant
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Catholic Online

On Loving Jesus as Mary Did
Catholic Online

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on 'Summorum Pontificum'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Trip to Austria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the Joy of Fatherhood
Catholic Online

Commentary on Artificial Hydration and Nutrition
Catholic Online

Vatican on Nutrition to Patients in Vegetative State
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Q-and-A Session With Youth in Loreto
Catholic Online

Take a Risk, Follow Your Call: the challenge of a lifetime!
Sisters of Bon Secours

Papal lessons

Family matters

Lessons from a tragedy
Dennis Heaney

Shopping blues
Joseph Sinasac

Marriage Breakdown: Expensive and Divisive
Catholic Online

Her darkness was a warning

Wednesday'a Audience - Gregory of Nyssa on Perfection
Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel