beatific ˌbē-ə-ˈti-fik adjective
1. marked by utter benignity; resembling or befitting an angel or saint
2. experiencing or bestowing celestial joy
The word beatific has appeared in 23 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Sept. 5 in “36 Hours in Syracuse, Sicily” by Seth Sherwood:
The number of Madonnas per square yard in the Galleria Regionale di Palazzo Bellomo — dedicated mostly to medieval, Renaissance and Baroque art — must surely approach record status. There she is, alongside her child, towering over a church carried by angels, in a surreal 1507 century painting by Alessandro Padovano and Giovanni Maria Trevisiano. There she is in Gothic mode, resplendent in deep reds, blues and golds, on a time-fissured wooden board by the Master of the Polyptych of Santa Maria. But certainly her most stunning rendition comes from the hand of Antonello da Messina. His 15th-century painting “Annunciation,” depicting Mary visited by an angel, is a masterwork of powerful color, exquisite detail and beatific light. Admission, 8 euros.