Skip to main content

Stephen II, Pope


Pontificate: March 752, reigned for four days. Stephen, a Roman priest elected to succeed Pope zachary, who died as the Lombard peril neared its crisis in Italy, was installed at the Lateran but died before his episcopal consecration. Since, in the 8th century, consecration was thought to mark the official beginning of a pope's reign, Stephen is not listed among the popes by his contemporaries or by most medieval and modern historians. However, since modern Canon Law holds that a pope's pontificate begins with his election, the Annuario pontificio from 1961 on, took cognizance of Stephen II and renumbered all subsequent popes of this name with alternate numbers, e.g., Stephen's successor is referred to as Stephen II (III). Recent works tend to accept the validity of Stephen's extremely short pontificate but refuse to accept the renumbering of his successors. Despite the adjustments involved in a double set of numbers for popes of this name, there is no doubt that this man who exercised the pontifical power for even so short a time should be recognized by historians as Pope Stephen II (see popes, list of).

Bibliography: Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne (Paris 188692) 1:440. Annales Nazariani, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores (Berlin 1826) 1:2331, 4044. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 1935) 5:423. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 190232) 1.2:290291. r. l. poole, "The Names and Numbers of Medieval Popes," English Historical Review 32 (1917) 465478. r. thi baut, "Noms et chiffres pontificaux," Nouvelle revue théologique 72 (1950) 834838.

[p. j. mullins]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Stephen II, Pope." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 17 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Stephen II, Pope." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (January 17, 2019).

"Stephen II, Pope." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved January 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.