Pope Stephen IX

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Stephen IX
Bishop of Rome
ChurchCatholic Church
SeeHoly See
Papacy began3 August 1057
Papacy ended29 March 1058
PredecessorVictor II
SuccessorNicholas II
Personal details
Birth nameFrederick of Lorraine
Bornc. 1020
Lorraine, Holy Roman Empire
Died(1058-03-29)29 March 1058
Florence, Holy Roman Empire
Other popes named Stephen

Pope Stephen IX (Latin: Stephanus IX; c. 1020[1] – 29 March 1058) was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 3 August 1057 to his death.

Family and early career[edit]

Christened Frederick,[2] he was a younger brother of Duke Godfrey the Bearded of Lorraine,[3] and part of the Ardennes-Verdun dynasty that would play a prominent role in the politics of the period, which included their strong ties to the abbey of St. Vanne.[3]

Frederick, previously archdeacon of St. Lambert's Cathedral in Liège,[3] was appointed cardinal-deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica by Pope Leo IX, and later raised to cardinal-presbyter of San Crisogono by Pope Victor II.[4] In 1054, he discharged the function of one of three papal legates at Constantinople, participating in the events that led to the East-West Schism.[5] In 1057, he was appointed abbot of Monte Cassino.[6]


On 3 August 1057, five days after the death of Pope Victor II, Frederick was chosen to become the new pope. He took the name Stephen IX.[7] As pope, he enforced the policies of the Gregorian Reform as to clerical celibacy. In regional politics, he was planning for the expulsion of the Normans from southern Italy, and in order to achieve that he decided, at the beginning of 1058, to send a delegation to the new Byzantine Emperor Isaac I Komnenos (1057-1059). Papal delegates departed from Rome, but when they reached Byzantine held Bari, news came that Stephen IX has died, and the mission was abandoned.[6]

At the beginning of 1058, Stephen IX was planning the elevation of his brother to the imperial throne when he was seized by a severe illness. After a partial recovery, Stephen IX died at Florence on 29 March 1058. He is considered by the modern Catholic Church to have been succeeded by Nicholas II, though others consider his successor to be Benedict X, now officially regarded as an antipope.


  1. ^ Mittermaier, Karl (2006). Die deutschen Päpste. Benedikt XVI. und seine deutschen Vorgänger. p. 102.
  2. ^ Kelly, Thomas Forrest, The Beneventan Chant, (Cambridge University Press, 1989), 39.
  3. ^ a b c Patrick Healy, The Chronicle of Hugh of Flavigny: Reform and the Investiture Contest in the Late Eleventh Century, (Ashgate Publishing, 2006), 50.
  4. ^ Charles Radding and Francis Newton, Theology, Rhetoric, and Politics in the Eucharistic controversy, 1078–1079, (Columbia University Press, 2003), 89.
  5. ^ Siecienski 2010.
  6. ^ a b Bloch 1986, p. 38.
  7. ^ He explicitly took the name and the number IX. He signed all his official documents Stephanus Nonus Papa (Stephen Ninth Pope), although some lists called him Stephen X from the second half of the 16th century to the first half of 20th.