Pope Stephen VII

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Stephen VII" redirects here. For the Moldavian ruler, see Ștefan Tomșa.
In some sources, this pope is called Stephen VIII and Pope Stephen VI is called Stephen VII. See Pope-elect Stephen for detailed explanations.
Stephen VII
Stephen VII.jpg
Papacy began February 929
Papacy ended 15 March 931
Predecessor Leo VI
Successor John XI
Personal details
Birth name ? Stephanus de Gabrielli
Born ???
Rome, Papal States
Died c. 15 March 931
Rome, Papal States
Other popes named Stephen

Pope Stephen VII (Latin: Stephanus VII; died c. 15 March 931)[1] was Pope from February 929 to his death in 931. A candidate of the infamous Marozia, his pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.


Stephen was a Roman[2] by birth, the son of Theodemundus,[3] and perhaps a member of the Gabrielli family.[citation needed] He was elected—probably handpicked—by Marozia from the Tusculani family, as a stop-gap measure until her own son John was ready to assume the chair of Saint Peter. Prior to his election, Stephen had been the cardinal-priest of St Anastasia in Rome.[3]

Very little is known about Stephen’s pontificate. During his two years as pope, Stephen confirmed the privileges of a few religious houses in France and Italy.[3] As a reward for helping free Stephen from the oppression of Hugh of Arles, Stephen granted Cante di Gabrielli the position of papal governor of Gubbio, and control over a number of key fortresses.[4] Stephen was also noted for the severity with which he treated clergy who strayed in their morals.[5] He was also, apparently, according to a hostile Greek source from the twelfth century, the first pope who went around clean shaved whilst pope.[6]

Stephen died around 15 March 931, and was succeeded by Pope John XI.


  • Mann, Horace K., The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Vol. IV: The Popes in the Days of Feudal Anarchy, 891-999 (1910)
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Pope Stephen (VII) VIII". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  1. ^ Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes: from the foundation of the See of Rome to A.D. 1758 (1845), pg. 311
  2. ^ Platina, Bartolomeo (1479), The Lives of the Popes From The Time Of Our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII I, London: Griffith Farran & Co., pp. 247–248, retrieved 2013-04-25 
  3. ^ a b c Mann, pg. 189
  4. ^ Collegio araldico, Rivista, Volume 5 (1907), pg. 49
  5. ^ DeCormenin, Louis Marie; Gihon, James L., A Complete History of the Popes of Rome, from Saint Peter, the First Bishop to Pius the Ninth (1857), pg. 287
  6. ^ Mann, pg. 190

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Leo VI
Succeeded by
John XI