c. 1500, "act of rendering blessed," from French béatification, noun of action and state from past-participle stem of Late Latin beatificare "make happy" (see beatify). As a papal declaration about the status of a deceased person and entitlement of public religious honor, it dates from c. 1600.
"one who advocates the contrary side," 1760, translating Latin advocatus diaboli, in the Catholic Church, a promoter of the faith and officer of the Sacred Congregation of Rites whose job it is to urge against the canonization of a candidate for sainthood. "[F]ar from being the whitewasher of the wicked, the [devil's advocate] is the blackener of the good." [Fowler]. Said to have been first employed in connection with the beatification of St. Lorenzo Giustiniani under Leo X (1513-21).