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2 definitions found
 for pillar saint
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Pillar \Pil"lar\, n. [OE. pilerF. pilier, LL. pilare, pilarium,
     pilarius, fr. L. pila a pillar. See Pile a heap.]
     1. The general and popular term for a firm, upright,
        insulated support for a superstructure; a pier, column, or
        post; also, a column or shaft not supporting a
        superstructure, as one erected for a monument or an
        ornament.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Jacob set a pillar upon her grave.    --Gen. xxxv.
                                                    20.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The place . . . vast and proud,
              Supported by a hundred pillars stood. --Dryden.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Figuratively, that which resembles such a pillar in
        appearance, character, or office; a supporter or mainstay;
        as, the Pillars of Hercules; a pillar of the state. "You
        are a well-deserving pillar." --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire. --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. (R. C. Ch.) A portable ornamental column, formerly carried
        before a cardinal, as emblematic of his support to the
        church. [Obs.] --Skelton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (Man.) The center of the volta, ring, or manege ground,
        around which a horse turns.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     From pillar to post, hither and thither; to and fro; from
        one place or predicament to another; backward and forward.
        [Colloq.]
  
     Pillar saint. See Stylite.
  
     Pillars of the fauces. See Fauces, 1.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Stylite \Sty"lite\ (st[imac]"l[imac]t), n. [Gr. styli`ths, fr.
     sty^los a pillar.] (Eccl. Hist.)
     One of a sect of anchorites in the early church, who lived on
     the tops of pillars for the exercise of their patience; --
     called also pillarist and pillar saint.
     [1913 Webster]
  
           The two other holy men in Gregory's narrative had more
           exotic origins than the pair that has just been seen.
           Gregory encountered one of them when on a journey to
           the north-eastern parts of the Frankish kingdom. This
           was a Lombard, named Vulfolaic, who had spent some
           years in the arduous exercise of being a stylite, the
           Christian equivalent of a flagpole sitter; in other
           words, Vulfolaic was a monk whose main austerity
           consisted in living on top of a pillar. By carrying out
           this feat in the rain, snow, and frost of the Moselle
           valley, Vulfolaic had convinced the local population to
           overthrow and abandon the idol of Diana to which they
           were addicted.                           --Walter
                                                    Goffart,
                                                    FOREIGNERS IN
                                                    THE HISTORIES
                                                    OF GREGORY OF
                                                    TOURS
                                                    (http://www.arts.uwo.ca/florilegium/goffart.html).

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