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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 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 ?
She stressed that respecting the beliefs, values and sanctities of different religions was a globally accepted principle and European statesmen are expected to heed such norms.
The statement called upon the Arab and Islamic peoples and their parliaments to take serious measures to pressure their governments to stop the Zionist practices and prevent the Israeli occupation from implementing its scheme in juadizing Jerusalem and changing its demography through destroying Palestinian neighborhoods, forcing Palestinians to leave the city and juadizing the Islamic and Christian sanctities to eliminate the Palestinian existence.
The sacrilege of Islamic sanctities has aroused intense feelings in Muslim lands, specially in Shiite communities.
Earlier this week, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei strongly condemned the recent desecration of the shrines of Hojr ibn Oday in Syria and Ja'far al-Tayyar in Jordan by Wahhabi extremists, and called on all Muslims across the world to continue their protests against the sacrilege of Islamic sanctities.
He called for serious and speedy international efforts and for the intervention of the Security Council to take all urgent measures to stop these violations on Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first Qiblah and the third holiest shrine, protect the Palestinian people and religious sanctities and give the Palestinian people all their legitimate rights, stressing that this attack blatantly violates the sanctity of religions and contribute to feeding extremism and violence in the world.
The deputies called on the Arab world and international organizations to shoulder their moral and legal responsibilities and confront the Israeli practices against Muslim and Christian sanctities in Palestine.
It is quite obvious that committing such ugly acts by Wahhabi extremists in Syria is indicative of their lack of belief in Islamic and humanistic values and blatant violation of religious sanctities," it added.
The statement added that the extremist and radical groups sow the seed of discord, animosity, hatred and division through indulging in violence, terror and massacre of innocent people as well as sacrilege of the sanctities.
Premier Hamdallah urged the international community to protect the Palestinian peeople against such attacks that target their sanctities.
The authority said, in a statement on Sunday, that Israel is once again desecrating Muslim and Christian sanctities in Jerusalem by encroaching on mosques, churches, and other places of worship, as well as violating the sanctity of burial grounds.
He described this evil aggression as a terrorist act against the freedom of worship and the inviolability of sanctities.
The Secretary General stated that the desecration and burning of the mosque and the writing of racist slogans on its walls was part of the open war waged by extremist settlers against the Palestinian people and their sanctities.
What Israel is perpetrating is criminal acts against Muslims' sanctities and the Arab cultural and historic heritage," a Syrian Foreign Ministry official source said.
The party called for exerting more efforts in Arab common action in service of the nation's causes, affirming that the only available choice for confronting the Israeli threats is to bolster the elements of unity and Arab solidarity and supporting peoples' rights and choice to resist occupation and defend their lands and sanctities.
DAMASCUS, (SANA)-Regional Leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party on Thursday issued a statement on the Israeli aggression on al-Aqsa Mosque, saying "since the first days of occupying Jerusalem, the Zionist enemy has begun to judize Jerusalem and loot its sanctities and heritage, particularly al-Aqsa mosque in a bid to make al-Quds as a capital of its illegal entity.