Stephen III of Rome

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Pope Stephen III of Rome was the Pope of the Church of Rome from 752 to 757. Pope Stephen was elected to the papal see after the previously elected successor to Pope Zacharias, also Stephen, died before his consecration. This succession resulted in confused regnal numbering when the Annuario Pontificio de-listed Stephen II and listed Stephen III as Stephen II (III).

Life

Nothing is known of the early life of Stephen. He was born in Rome about 715. Elected unanimously to the papal throne following the unexpected death of Stephen II before his consecration, Stephen III was consecrated in the early Spring of 752, either March 26 or April 3. His ascendency as pope brought to an end the period of the so-called Byzantine Papacy.

Stephen came to the see of Rome during a time in which the Eastern Roman Empire was loosing hegemony over the area of the Exarchate of Ravenna. Not being able to receive military support from Constantinople to retake Ravenna from the Lombard forces, Stephen turned to the recently crowned King of the Franks, Pepin the Younger, for aid. After forming an alliance, in which Stephen re-consecrated Pepin as king on January 6, 754, Pepin delivered the territory between Rome and Ravenna to the papacy that later would be referred to as the Papal States.

He died in Rome on April 26, 757.

Succession box:
Stephen III of Rome
Preceded by:
Stephen II
Pope of Rome
752 - 757
Succeeded by:
Paul I
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