• Old French: franc encens, incense of high quality


The fragrant resin of an Arabian tree, Boswellia serrata, procured by slitting the bark, from which it exudes and hardens on exposure to the air. It was one of the gifts offered to the Infant Jesus by the Magi (Matthew 2), symbolising sacrifice due Him as God.

MLA Citation

  • “frankincense”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 August 2013. Web. 25 November 2015. <>