1530s, "to make very happy," from French béatifer, from Late Latin beatificare "make happy, make blessed," from Latin beatus "supremely happy, blessed" (past participle of beare "make happy, bless;" see Beatrice) + -ficare, combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). The Catholic Church sense of "to pronounce as being in heavenly bliss" (1620s) is the first step toward canonization. Related: Beatified; beatifying.
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.