Pope-elect Stephen

Pope-elect Stephen (died 25 March 752) was a Roman priest selected in March 752 to succeed Pope Zachary. Because he died before he was consecrated, he is considered only a pope-elect rather than a legitimate pope.


SuccessorStephen II (as Pope)
Celestine II (as Pope-elect)
Created cardinal745
by Zachary
Personal details
Died(752-03-25)25 March 752
Previous post(s)Cardinal-priest of San Crisogono (745–752)
Other popes named Stephen


In 745, Stephen was made a cardinal-priest by Pope Zachary. His titular church was San Crisogono. Zachary died in mid-March 752. On 23 March, Stephen was selected to become the new pope. He died of a stroke only days later, before being consecrated as bishop of Rome.[1][2]

According to the canon law of the time, a pope's pontificate started upon his consecration.[3] Later canon law considered that a man became pope the moment he accepted his election, and Pope-elect Stephen was then anachronistically called Pope Stephen II.[4] His name was removed from the list of popes in the Annuario Pontificio in 1961.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Horace Mann, "Pope Stephen II" in Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 2013)".
  2. ^ History's great untold stories: larger than life characters & dramatic ... By Joseph Cummins. National Geographic Books. p. 13.
  3. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2012 ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), p. 11*
  4. ^ For example, see Rev. Joseph Deharbe, S.J., A Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion (translated by Rev. John Fander; 1863), p. 60-61.
  5. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes (Harper Collins 2013 ISBN 978-0-06228834-9), p. 121