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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

odor of sanctity, the

A reputation for holiness. Today generally used ironically, for extreme or hypocritical piety, this term is based on the medieval notion that the dead body of a saintly person gives off a sweet smell. From this came, “He died in the odor of sanctity,” meaning he died a saint, which later was extended to mean saintliness in general. G. K. Chesterton used it in his poem “A Song of Self-Esteem”—“The Faith of Tennessee has wafted o’er the sea, the odour of its sanctity—and Golly how it stank!”—in which he derided the prosecution of John Scopes in 1925 for teaching evolution in his class at the Dayton (Tennessee) High School.
See also: odor, of
References in periodicals archive ?
As per the sale and leaseback arrangements entered into with Ocean Yield ASA (Ocean Yield) announced on July 13, 2015, the Navig8 Sanctity is the second vessel to be delivered.
He said on this occasion the whole panth and they in particular will take a pledge to preserve the sanctity of the religious places of the community and to protect the maryada of gurdwaras.
In so doing, she reveals the complexity of Louis IX's sanctity as well as the multivalent nature of late-medieval sanctity more generally speaking.
Our position against prostitution draws on much deeper places: The sanctity of the country, the sanctity of the family in Israel, and many other matters.
Scheer wrote that it was typical for religious leaders, such as the pope, to oppose gay marriage, but the "president of the United States, as the highest official in our secular government, is overstepping his bounds mightily when he lectures about 'sin' and 'the sanctity of marriage.
On the other hand, Berulle was mistaken, and seriously so, in exalting the sanctity of the state of life in which the sacrament of Holy Orders places the one who receives it.
The Odor of Sanctity centers on Peter Albright, a priest and psychiatrist.
Whereas parts I and II reveal a certain tension between popular cult and clerical orchestration and response, part III focuses on the signs of sanctity recognized by both prelates and people.
Following in the critical footsteps of her recent predecessors, such as Alison Weber, Carole Slade, and Jodi Bilinkoff whose interest in Teresa of Avila has focused on the nun's political and linguistic skill in expressing herself as an early modern woman in a position of religious authority, Gillian Ahlgren contributes an excellent study Teresa of Avila and the Politics of Sanctity that complements their works by these scholars.
Since there was no biblical basis for their position on abortion, the bishops relied exclusively on papal theology, using such phrases as "the sanctity of Life from conception onwards" and "the church has a unique responsibility to transmit the teaching of Christ" with "regard to abortion" and "should show that abortion is a violation of God's laws.
ISLAMABAD -- Minister of State Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal has said Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) would continue campaign for sanctity of people's vote.
He announced to carry his message for the sanctity of vote to every nook and corner of the country.
LAHORE -- Former Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said he would spread message regarding sanctity of vote to every corner of the country.
LAHORE -- Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated his pledge to 'restore the sanctity of vote' and stressed that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) believed in delivering on their word, unlike other parties involved in 'politics of lies'.