Definition of beatify in US English:


verbbeatified, beatifies, beatifying

[with object]
  • (in the Roman Catholic Church) announce the beatification of.

    • ‘The frail nun, who died in 1997 after spending more than six decades caring for the destitute and homeless, was beatified yesterday by Pope John Paul II at a two-hour long ceremony in Rome.’
    • ‘Pope John Paul II has controversially beatified both a German mystic whose gory visions of Christ's suffering helped inspire Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ, and an Austrian emperor whose troops used poison gas.’
    • ‘One such woman was Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who will be beatified today in Rome.’
    • ‘This analysis seems plausible in theory, but it ought to be noted that the most popular person to be beatified in recent years is the stigmatic Padre Pio, who was very much an eccentric, an ascetic, and a prodigy.’
    • ‘There is now a shelf of books assessing Pius's career, the most contentious of which, John Cornwell's 1999 study Hitler's Pope, may well have set back the Vatican's schedule for beatifying the pontiff.’
    • ‘Instead, the Vatican has only recently beatified a number of senior Church officials who were killed during the Spanish Civil War.’
    • ‘Who better demonstrates this reality than John Paul II, the pope about to beatify Pius?’
    • ‘On October 19, 2003, Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be beatified in Rome.’
    • ‘As the only survivor of the trio, she cannot be beatified, only the dead can begin the slow journey through canonical bureaucracy to reach sainthood.’
    • ‘Indeed, the formal Catholic procedures for beatifying and canonizing saints are intended, inter alia, to guard against superstition, miracle - mongering, and popular enthusiasms of a possibly heretical nature.’
    • ‘In 1985, after his cardinal petitioned the Vatican to beatify 117 Vietnamese martyrs, he was told he could never be released.’
    • ‘Mother Mary of the Passion, who was beatified on October 20, followed St. Francis of Assissi's evangelical spirit of simplicity, poverty and chastity.’
    • ‘Pier Giorgio Frassati was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1990.’
    • ‘The Pope is due to beatify two dead shepherd children who were lucky enough to see the Virgin Mary six times in five months way back in 1917 when they were just 11 and 12 years old.’
    • ‘Junipero Serra was beatified for sainthood by Pope John Paul II in 1984, at his grave in the sanctuary of Mission San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel, California.’
    • ‘He was beatified by the Church of Rome in 1886, and canonized in 1935.’
    • ‘Mother Teresa is on her way to sainthood, having been beatified by the Pope in a two-hour ceremony in Rome.’
    • ‘The easy symmetry of beatifying these two popes on the same day may appeal to a mentality habitually working to tidy up and correct history, but there are limits to what the Vatican can do with this kind of manipulation.’
    • ‘Now that the miracle attributed to Mother Teresa has been authenticated, the Pope will beatify the Nobel Peace Prize winner.’
    • ‘Overriding the usual five-year waiting period, Pope Benedict XVI has begun the process of beatifying his predecessor.’
    canonize, bless, sanctify, hallow, consecrate, make holy, make sacred
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘make blessed or supremely happy’): from Old French beatifier or ecclesiastical Latin beatificare, from Latin beatus ‘blessed’.