Catholic Teachings

The Beatitudes (Blessings)

The Beatitudes (Blessings)

The Beatitudes are eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Each is a proverb-like proclamation, without narrative. Four of the blessings also appear in the Sermon on the Plain in the Gospel of Luke, followed by four woes which mirror the blessings.[1]

In the Vulgate, each of these blessings begins with the word beati, which translates to “happy”, “rich”, or “blessed” (plural adjective). The corresponding word in the original Greek is μακάριοι (makarioi), with the same meanings.[a][3] Thus “Blessed are the poor in spirit” appears in Latin as beati pauperes spiritu.[4] The Latin noun beātitūdō was coined by Cicero to describe a state of blessedness, and was later incorporated within the chapter headings written for Matthew 5 in various printed versions of the Vulgate.[5] Subsequently, the word was anglicized to beatytudes in the Great Bible of 1540,[6] and has, over time, taken on a preferred spelling of beatitudes.

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