Sunday, 10 January 2010

Forget Sherry Fitz - get a St Joseph home selling kit

Trying to sell your house? Coming to the conclusion that selling snowballs to the Eskimos might be an easier option? Worry not, for divine help is at hand.

Today’s Sunday Times reports that would-be Irish sellers are resorting to religion in an attempt to shift their overpriced shoeboxes, and are enlisting the services of no less a deity than Saint Joseph, Jesus' stepdad.

It seems that as well as being the patron saint of carpenters, Saint Joseph also represents the home and, by extension (sorry), estate agents. So what you do is buy a statue of Saint Joe and bury him head-first in your front garden, facing away from your house, preferably near your “For Sale” sign. I kid you not, this is what I am reading. Either that, or somebody slipped some LSD into that last coffee.

A spokesperson for Veritas, the religious store based on Abbey Street, is quoted as saying that sales of St Joseph statues are booming in the bust, increasing by 500% over the past year. The practice is popular in the United States too – unsurprisingly – with dedicated home-selling kits that include special prayers, St Joseph oil (?), a St Joseph print and, of course, a statue of the man himself. See St Joseph home selling kits

For those who want that extra bit of shove from above, a deluxe kit is available which features a statue of St Jude for good measure. The more devout among you will recognise straight away that St Jude is the patron Saint of lost causes, which is especially apt.

If none of the above works for you, it might be time to drop your asking price...

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Ella said...

Hi GM, surely you are a little early for an April Fool gag, tell me this is not for real.

The Gombeen Man said...

Oh it's "real" alright, Ella.

Just google "St Joseph home selling kit". They're out there.

Anonymous said...

FACINATING STORY GM ,my sources close to this situation on the ground over there tell me that this a much larger story, considering the iconic names behind this you may know of COMICAL KEN MCDONALD and JOSEPH of ballyfermott holy joe to his friends in KNOCK,currently there are 100 portable moving statues of yerwan under consruction at a secret location on SCATTERY island these will feature all the moves of a HAWAINN hoola dancer and will be set to move after closing time,the plan is to place a statue on stubborn property till it moves,by naxt july property will be flying time to get into the helicopter bussiness gm

Bernd said...

Just went to the website and was amazed to also find a "St. Joseph Home Sales Kit with Child". Does that mean you'll sell the kids with the house then? Or do you have to bury the kids head-first in the rose-bed? Fred West comes to mind ...

Anyway, I'd sincerely recommend surfing over to for better value and more fun - like the Menstruating Mary Statue, the Jesus Light Switch and, to drive out any inner demon, a fine link to dildo range by "Divine Interventions". Jackhammer Jesus anyone?

Disclaimer: Of course I only recommend this link to express my disgust at such blasphemous goings-on! Down with this!

Ella said...

GM, Anonymous and Bernd. LOL here. Class. Thanks for the link Bernd, I'll never be stuck for gifts again!

Anonymous said...


It is far better to sacrifice a goat or a couple of chickens in the front garden instead praying mumbo-jumbo to a statue. Did you know that the term “mumbo-jumbo” is from Nigeria, where I come from. The loose translation means “a Right load of Bullshit”. If you rub two sticks together and say “oginga-odinga”. you are more likely to be successful in buying a house. However, if you mare thinking of buying shares, go for religious statues, because, “there is one born every minute” and you will become rich.

The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks for that info, Mr BH. Glad to know our great little land has better times ahead.

Bernd, I'll join Ella there in saying that this iconic site looks like a very promising source of future gifts (though not all of them mind). Think the Menstruating Mary is my fave. Old AH's painting isn't bad, I have to say. Maybe if they'd let him into Vienna Art College it might have saved us all a lot of grief.

Good idea Anon. The mass card business is sewn up here, but I don't think the icons market has been regulated just yet!

Anonymous said...

Your link to the discountcatholic website has got all nostalgic now. I had a quick look and they have brown scapulars...Ahh them was the days.

Do you remember the brown scapulars GM? They were great. It didn't matter if your kecks were a bit smelly and you got knocked down by a bus. If you were wearing the brown scapular the nurses would know you were a good boy and would give you extra fruit and jelly for desert. Good ould brown scapular.

The Gombeen Man said...

Hi Anon. No, I thought a scapular was a bone in your shoulder ;-)

Anonymous said...

I had the disadvantage of going to a Catholic school where there was miraculous medals, brown and black scapulars, gruesome statues and even more gruesome pictures of some poor sod being crucified, flogged, deflowered, pierced with arrows, tortured by some ghastly technique; it went on and on, with holy pictures and special prayers. None of this ritual and paraphernalia did us any good as far as being close to God, because they still ‘kicked the shit out of us’ on the least pretext. I would have more faith in rubbing the sticks together or some similar sort of nonsense. At least if the sticks were dry, one might generate some heat or fire.

Ella said...

Hi GM, the scapula is the shoulder blade and not to be confused with the scapular that brown thingy ANON is talking about. My brother used to wear one of those scapular yokes all the time, dispensed to him by the Franciscan brothers. I'm sure there was something else on that necklace effort that hid the scapular, (no idea what that could have been). LOL here ANON, you've captured the response to the scapular correctly, (about 25 yrs ago it really was like that! I'm hoping we've moved on though).

Ella said...

DOH, it's only just occurred to me that those rags are probably called scapulars because they are worn over the scapula. Yes I'm sure that's it.

The Gombeen Man said...

Was only joking about the scapula/rs. But I never saw them. I remember those little silver Mary medals with the transparent blue bit that my Old Dear would try to foist on me now and again. Think she even hid one in my scooter, which was already rusting from the holy water being flung on it (she was very nervous about two-wheeled transport).

"None of this ritual and paraphernalia did us any good as far as being close to God, because they still ‘kicked the shit out of us’ on the least pretext." Ditto in my school Anon.

Wouldn't say your brother was much of a free thinker, Ella, was he?

Anonymous said...

It is easy to scoff at superstition as illogical, as though the mind was logical; it is nothing of the sort. It does not matter whether we pray to a statue of a saint or a ancient God. The truth is that such things do work, and only a fool would dismiss the power of suggestion.

Whether we are talking about a holy medal or a rabbit’ s foot, or reciting some prayer or mantra there is clear evidence; mainly from anthropologists and ethnographers that magic rituals do work within the studies of the history and prevalence of magic.

Why do intelligent academic logical people read and heed horoscopes when informed people like us know that it is all bloody nonsense? Why do some sensible people have rituals about wearing particular clothes or jewellery on particular occasions?. What good does it do? Are they mad?

If we are truthful it is possible that we have some innocent, idiotic ritual that we must carry out, like saluting a magpie, and if we fail to do it, we experience anxiety.

I have to put on my left shoe first or else I will feel ill at ease. I didn't know this until a few years ago when I was a patient in hospital, and the nurse was helping me to get dressed. She put on my right slipper first, and I could not settle until I had removed the slippers, then I felt better. The next time I made sure that she put on my left slipper first. It sounds illogical I know, but its true.

Anonymous said...

I spent four years at Trinity College Dublin and during that time I spent more time visiting catholic churches with my friends. There seemed to be hundreds. My favourites were “Adam and Eves” in Merchants Quay and a very busy beautiful little church in Bachelors walk , and a beautiful church on Haddington Road. Near Baggot Street Hospital. Many of my friends were obsessive about lighting candles, and I used to do the same. It was wonderful. The ironic part of this is that I am a French Jew, and not at all religious. I just loved going to church and to Mass.

Claude Gavroche
Lyon France.

The Gombeen Man said...

Whatever you're into, Claude ;-)

Bernd said...

Sure we all have rituals --- I'd wager a bet that even Richard Dawkins has some mannerism he can't quite rationally explain. But if you want to put on your left shoe first and feel at unease if not doing so ... go ahead, until you lose your left foot in an accident it is no problem at all (yes, I do like scare-mongering worst case scenarios).

It only becomes a problem if some eejit tells you that you are doomed in eternity if the right shoe comes first.

Or you could be doing the Hokey-Cokey.

Anonymous said...

This post has turned into a delightful ramble over a range of points so I'll sound off about somthing that is slightly related if I may.

On the question of why notions of miracles persist I think doctors have a lot to answer for.

I think doctors get it wrong a lot of the time and misdiagnose a lot of people with serious illnesses. For some of these people their 'symptoms' persist or get worse for purely psychosomatic reasons. The only thing that then breaks the spell is for them to embrace the idea of miracles and hey presto they get better - very quickly.

Doctors then say 'we can't explain it'.

Well I can, you got it wrong mate and you get it wrong quite often.


The Gombeen Man said...

As good an explanation as I've heard, Bilbo.

Bernd, I'm still cracking up over that link of yours.

Anonymous said...


Kin lulz!!1!

Anonymous said...

The Trick of Lourdes and Fatima

Anton Mesmer the charismatic charlatan hypnotist used to travel the countryside in search of suitable “deep trance subjects” who would respond to his post hypnotic suggestions. Using hypnosis, he rendered them: blind, deaf and paralysed. He told them that they would remain that way until he gave them his permission to become cured. At a later time, he gathered all these people together at a meeting of prominent academics, scholars and businessmen.

Then, with a given word, Mesmer cured all the blind, the lame and the stupid. Of course these people were not stupid, but highly suggestible. If you do not believe this concept, even a simple book on hypnosis will confirm the truth of the power of suggestion.

The Catholic Church performed this trick with Bernadette at Lourdes and Lucia at Fatima. They saw what had been suggested to them by the church. Both girls were prefectly selected subjects; innocent and ignorant and illiterate.

Bernadette and Lucia were quickly removed from society so that no atheist hypnotist would undo the suggestions. The Catholic Church has made millions from the deceptions at Lourdes, Fatima and Knock and many, many more. The Pentecostal Churches do the very same trick as Anton Mesmer, only with more sophistication and guile.

Anonymous said...

Imagine the Cruelty

There was a little girl called Maria who was the victim of Thalidomide and she had only short arms. She attended a convent school where there were many nuns who were blinded with religious zeal and piety. One on the idiotic nuns whilst extolling the virtues of the Virgin Mary (Our lady of Lourdes), let it be known that the Our Lady could grant any wish.

Maria wished for to have normal arms like her friends. These idiotic nuns decided to take Maria on the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes. The family doctor tried to invoke legal action to stop this nonsense, as he realised that it would end in disappointment and hurt. The clergy and the bishop were silent and non-committal. (surprise).

Little Maria went to Lourdes and of course was deeply disappointed, and lost all trust in religion. The idiotic nuns said that Maria’s faith (aged 8) was not strong enough to produce a cure. Can you imagine such cruelty?

These were the same nuns as “The Magdalene Sisters” (The Sisters of Mercilessness). It is a good job that God does not exist, because he (she or it) would go mad having to deal with such pig-ignorance and banality.

All these nuns needed was to be frequently screwed. (probably by somebody who was blind)

The Gombeen Man said...

Ah yes... fond memories of being dragged over Baggot Street Bridge to the Sisters of Mercy Convent Infant School.

But isn't the Irish education system great?

Anonymous said...

I wish to apologise to all Gombeen Readers for the last post, and if possible I would like it to be removed. The joke was cheap and hurtful. I do not know the facts of what happened with Mrs Robinson. All I know is that I have “cocked life up” much more than she has ever done. And I do not have the right to judge her or anybody else. And I wish her and her family peace and quiet.

The Gombeen Man said...

Don't beat yourself up, Anon. I've heard worse jokes.

Removed, anyway.

Anonymous said...

A friend in America was telling me that the Catholic Church is proliferating in America. He was telling me that there is a growing practice to have Mass Machines. It is like an automatic ticket machine where a person programmes the ticket to have a mass celebrated. The recipient’s name and other pertinent information is programmed in and a ticked is delivered. It can be a ordinary low mass, a Misa Cantata, or Solemn High Mass. The fees are relative to the type of mass required. The ticked is then posted in the box provided.

It seems that a similar practice is growing in the Pentecostal churches regarding being saved. It is possible to buy a ticket for the type of saving required and for how long. There are categories of places in heaven in terms of comfort and nearness to “The Boss”. The minimum cost is $100.00 going up to $millions. What Bullshit.

Anonymous said...

How can this be bullshit; it's brilliant. Selling a place in heaven is the height of ingenuity and the stuff of an entrepreneur.

It was an Irishman who sold London Bridge to an American, and nearly sold the Effiel Tower.

The American system is so good. My friend bought a Ph.D and was ordained as a minister on the same day by special discount. These designations were granted by a University in South Carolina for the grand sum of $ 999.00.

Allegedly there are a few British politicians who frequently use the title "Dr" without ever having been to University. Ireland would not allow that sort of thing. Time we started though.