The word "Beatitude" comes from a Latin word meaning "happy" or "blessed." The Beatitudes are therefore blessed sayings or congratulations. The Beatitudes in Matthew chapter five begin what is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount. The audience of the beatitudes is the disciples. Therefore, we can assume that what Jesus teaches his disciples here applies to all disciples to come (See Matthew 28:19-20).
Blessedness was associated with the existence of the gods In the Greco-Roman world during Jesus' time. The gods were considered blessed because they didn't have to deal with all of the everyday stuff that people deal with. Therefore, anyone who seemed to transcend the everyday sorrows and struggles was considered to be blessed. Blessedness in this instance meant that the person enjoyed great fortune.