Skip to comments.Catholic Word of the Day: FRAGRANT ODORS, 01-06-15
Posted on 01/06/2015 9:23:02 AM PST by Salvation
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Sometimes called the odor of sanctity, they are the perfume-like scent given forth by the bodies of saints during their lifetime or after death. They are considered, as it were, symbols of the fragrance of extraordinary virtue. Thus the stigmata of St. Francis were reported occasionally to emit a sweet perfume. When St. Theresa died in 1582, the water in which her body had been bathed retained a noteworthy fragrance. During nine months a mysterious perfume rose from her grave. Both phenomena were carefully studied in the process of her canonization. Among the conditions set down by the Church to verify the phenomenon is whether any physical miracle is associated with the fragrant emanation.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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Did you forget the sarc tag/?
No, because acetone has been identified as the organic volatile compound that appears on the breath of the fasting due to subtle changes in metabolic liver function due to dietary stress, historically referred to as the ‘odour of sanctity’ of antiquity.
This is something Catholics believe in and non-Catholics don’t normally investigate. It is one of those issues that has to be answered with a resounding maybe. Would a residue of acetone be able to overcome the otherwise normal accumulation of stinky compounds like putrescine? Not even religious ecstasies could do that. In general, God seems to accommodate willingness to believe with phenomena that addresses it. Since it is not an evangelical trope, God does not bother in that milieu.
I’m kind of surprised that the biblical reference of the saints as being a spiritual fragrant offering to God the Father by God the Son isn’t well noted here.
Blessed Mother and roses. :)
Padre Pio, who died in 1968, was said to have this from his Stigmata. Thanks, Salvation!
Not just Catholics. Buddhists talk about the exact same phenomena. “High level” monk’s bodies will remain incorrupt even many years after passing, and they will emit the smell of flowers. The similarities between the two religions are striking in this regard.
I’ve even visited several temples/monastaries in Asia where a saint or previous teacher’s incorrupt body will be on display, sometimes covered with gold foil.
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