odor of sanctity


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odor of sanctity

1. Literally, a specific scent said to emanate from the body of a saint of the Catholic Church. I had never believed it, but upon entering the small crypt that held the saint's remains, I too could perceive the odor of sanctity so many religious writers had detailed before.
2. By extension, a state of religious, grace, saintliness, or holiness. The nun, who tirelessly devoted her life to helping the poor of her nation, died in an odor of sanctity at the age of 97.
3. Smug and often hypocritical moral or social righteousness; sanctimoniousness. The author provides an extremely compelling moral argument, without enshrouding the entire narrative with an odor of sanctity.
See also: odor, of, sanctity

odor of sanctity

Fig. an atmosphere of excessive holiness or piety. I hate their house. There's such an odor of sanctity with Bibles and holy pictures everywhere. The huge, medieval Gothic cathedral had a distinct odor of sanctity.
See also: odor, of, sanctity

odor of sanctity

Exaggerated or hypocritical piety, an assumption of moral superiority, as in This candidate puts off some voters with his odor of sanctity. This expression, originating in the medieval idea that the dead body of a saintly individual gives off a sweet smell, was used to describe saintliness in the mid-1700s. Today it is generally used ironically.
See also: odor, of, sanctity

odour of sanctity

1 a state of holiness. 2 sanctimoniousness. derogatory
This expression is a translation of the French idiom odeur de sainteté . It refers to a sweet or balsamic odour which was reputedly emitted by the bodies of saints at or after death, and which was regarded as evidence of their sanctity.
See also: odour, of, sanctity
References in periodicals archive ?
An ambitious novel in its scope and its intent, An Odor of Sanctity provides an expanded treatment of the theme of the spiritual man, a subject Yerby had examined earlier in Captain Rebel in 1956.
Unlike his earlier treatment of anti-heroes, who begin as rogues and emerge saintlike eventually, Yerby's portrayal of Alaric in the last third of An Odor of Sanctity explores the whole question of sainthood.
In An Odor of Sanctity, for example, Alaric declares:
Yerby also points out in An Odor of Sanctity that the Moors did not destroy other faiths which conflicted with theirs; they practiced religious toleration.
If An Odor of Sanctity is his text on philosophical investigations of religion, Judas, My Brother is certainly his polished sermon.
Each of these three engaging novels embodies a great Christian spirituality: Chartreuse personifies the Carthusian tradition, Portrait of a Woman reflects the Benedictine legacy, and The Odor of Sanctity embraces the Jesuit heritage.
These differences were not confined to incorruptibility and the odor of sanctity but also included external and internal marks, such as stigmata and the alien structures found in Chiara's and Margarita's hearts.
Lights within black marble would not be visible; it's a leap only an adolescent would make, from the odor of sanctity to the Fulton Fish Market; faces are not like wood; "fardes," according to the three dictionaries I consulted, are a kind of white cosmetic paint (archaic) -- what would that be doing holding a ship to its mooring?