|Papacy began||February 929|
|Papacy ended||15 March 931|
|Created cardinal||by Leo VI|
|Birth name||Stephanus de Gabrielli|
|Born||Rome, Papal States|
|Died||c. 15 March 931|
Rome, Papal States
|Previous post||Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Anastasia (928-929)|
|Other popes named Stephen|
Pope Stephen VII (Latin: Stephanus VII; died 15 March 931) 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 by birth, the son of Theodemundus. 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.
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. 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. Stephen was also noted for the severity with which he treated clergy who strayed in their morals. He was also, apparently, according to a hostile Greek source from the twelfth century, the first pope who went around clean shaved whilst pope.
Stephen died around 15 March 931, and was succeeded by Pope John XI.
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