The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Leo VI (928-929)
At an unknown date between 928 and 929 (II)


(2) 1. STEFANO (?-931)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. Son of Teudemundo. Perhaps he was a member of the Gabrielli family.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. He worked in the papal curia before his promotion to the pontificate.

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of the title of S. Anastasia at an unknown date between 928 and 929. He owed his election to the papacy to the power of Marozia, senatrix et patricia of the Romans, head of the house of Teofilatto, ambitious wife of Guido de Tosca; she dominated Rome uncontestedly.

Papacy. Elected pope in January 929. Took the name Stephen VII (VIII). Shortly after his election, the deposed Pope John X died in Castelo Sant'Angelo, where he had been kept for about a year; he died suffocated with a pillow. Pope Stephen did not have anything to with his predecessor's death. Because of Marozia's control over Rome, he could not take independent initiatives except in exclusively ecclesiastical matters (1). Very little is known of his acts as pontiff. He confirmed the privileges and possession of the monastery of S. Antiimo, diocese of Chiussi. By the bull "Cum summae apostolicae", he placed the Benedictine monastery of Psalmodi, united with the monastery of Joncels (both in an island situated in the diocese of Nîmes) under the jurisdiction of the Holy See; he also prohibited that their possession could be alienated. He did not create any new cardinals.

Death. February 931, apparently murdered on orders of Marozia (2), Rome. Buried in the pavement of the portico of the Vatican basilica. His tomb was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica and the construction of the new one in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 703-704; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XL; Del Re, Niccolò. "Stefano VII (VIII), papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 1016; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 156, no. 1; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 122; Liudprand, Bishop of Cremona, d. ca. 972. The complete works of Liudprand of Cremona. Translated with an introduction and notes by Paolo Squatriti. Washington, D.C. : Catholic University of America Press, 2007. (Medieval texts in translation; Variation: Medieval texts in translation), p. 96, par. 48; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, pp. 153 and 442, appendix III A "Papi sepolti nell'antiva Basilica Vaticana; Piazzoni, Ambrogio M. "Stefano VII." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 70; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 71; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 453-454.

Links. Brief biographical entry, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English (Britannica); his image and biography, in English; biography, in English; biography, in German, Biographisch-bibliographischen Kirchenlexikon; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; another engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; and his effigy on another medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

(1) Because of the little relevance of his pontificate, contemporary chronicler Liudprand, The complete works of Liudprand of Cremona, in Antapodosis, p. 96, par. 48; passes from Pope John X to Pope John XI, without mentioning Pope Stephen VII (VIII)'s pontificate. Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa (Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792), I, pt. 1, does not mention his pontificate either.
(2) According to Readon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 71, she may have ordered the pope assassinated because she wanted her son Giovanni to become pope (John XI). Piazzoni, "Stefano VII." Enciclopedia dei papi, II, 70, indicates that the pope's death (does not say how he died) opened for Marozia the possibility of having her son become pope.

Cool Archive

(3) 2. GIOVANNI (ca. 901/906-936)

Birth. Ca. 901/906, Rome. Of the counts of Tusculum. Son of Marozia (little Mary), senatrix et patricia of Rome, and Alberico I (1). Half brother of Alberico II.

Education. (No information found)

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of the title of S. Maria in Trastevere at an unknown date between 928 and 929. He was imposed as pope by his mother.

Papacy. Elected pope in March 931. Took the name John XI. In March 931, at the request of its abbot, Odone, by the bull "Convenit apostolico moderamini", he confirmed the privileges of the monastery of Cluny, in Burgundy, founded in 909, of protection by the Holy See and free election of its abbot. The pope encouraged this monastery to become the model for others seeking reform. By the same bull, the pope confirmed the privilege of electing its own abbots to the monastery of Déols, archdiocese of Bourges, at the request of its abbot, Odonne. In 931, he sent the pallium to Archbishop Ilduino of Milan and confirmed the privileges of the archdiocese. In early 932, Eastern Emperor Romanus I Lecapeno asked him to approve the nomination as patriarch of Constantinople of his son Theophylact, who was only sixteen years old. The pope dispensed the impediment for age and sent two bishops-legate to participate in the consecration and enthronement of the emperor's son on February 17, 932. In the summer of 932, the pope's mother, Marozia, who was then a widow for the second time, married Hugues de Provence, king of Italy. Probably, Pope John XI officiated at the wedding, although that was against contemporary canons because Hugues was the brother-in-law of his bride . The marriage was very unpopular with the Romans because they suspected foreign rule. It provoked a rebellion, incited by Alberico II, who was Marozia's son by her first marriage, and who disliked Hugues because the king had insulted him during the wedding celebrations and had his own reasons for opposing the marriage. In December 932, an armed group of rebels took Castello Sant'Angelo, where Marozia and Hugues lived. King Hugues was able to escape but Alberico sent to prison his mother and his half-brother Pope John XI. Afterwards, Alberico had himself proclaimed princeps atque Senator omnium Romanorum. Nothing further is known of Marozia. Pope John XI was freed from prison but kept under arrest in the Lateran palace. The pontiff was totally limited to only liturgical and religious functions. On January 8, 933, he confirmed the privileges of the abbey of Vézelay, diocese of Autun, by the bull "Quotiens illa tribui". In the following March, the pope granted the diocese of Autun the privilege of electing its own bishops by the bull "Auditum est nostris". He sent the pallium to Archbishop Artold of Reims. He granted the monastery of S. Silvestro in Capite, Rome, the right to have a mill in the river Tiber. He wrote a letter to Théobald, archbishop of Tours, concerning the monastery of Saint-Julien of that city. By the bull "Noscat omnes homines", the pope condemned Silvio de Clérieux to rebuild the church of the monastery of Romans, diocese of Vienne, which he had burned; the monastery was under the protection of the Holy See. He created one cardinal in one promotion.

Death. Early January 936, poisoned on orders of Alberico II, Rome. Buried in the Vatican basilica; his tomb was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica and the construction of the new one in the 16th and 17th centuries (2).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, ; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 703-706; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XL; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 156, no. 3; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 123; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales, II, LXIX and 243, no. CXXVIII; Liudprand, Bishop of Cremona, d. ca. 972. The complete works of Liudprand of Cremona. Translated with an introduction and notes by Paolo Squatriti. Washington, D.C. : Catholic University of America Press, 2007. (Medieval texts in translation; Variation: Medieval texts in translation), p. 96, par. 48; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 154; Petruzzi, Caterina. "Giovanni XI, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 536; Piazzoni, Ambrogio M. "Giovanni XI." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 70-72; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 71; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 454-455.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; his biography, in English, (Britannica); his image and biography, in English; his biography, in English; biography, in German, Biographisch-Bibliographische Kirchenlexikon; biographies, in German, Die Genealogie Mittelalter; his image and biography, in Italian, Santi e Beati; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; another engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; and images and arms, in color.

(1) This is according to Petruzzi, "Giovanni XI, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente, p. 536. Le Liber pontificalis, II, 243, no. CXXVIII; Liudprand, The complete works of Liudprand of Cremona, p. 96, par. 48; and Reardon, The deaths of the popes, p. 71, say that he was the illegitimate son of Marozia and Pope Sergius III. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, 1986, p. 123, citing Liudprand and Duchesne, says that he was almost certainly the illegitimate son of Marozia by Pope Sergius III. Piazzoni, "Giovanni XI." Enciclopedia dei papi, II, 71-72, says that while the maternity of Marozia is clear and confirmed by all sources, the question of who the father was remains uncertain. Some of the printed sources do not address the issue. The electronic sources are divided concerning his parentage.
(2) This is according to Reardon, The deaths of the popes, p. 71. "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 156, no. 3, says that he was buried at the Lateran basilica or instead at the Vatican basilica. Montini, Le tombe dei papi, p. 154, says that according to Ioannes Diaconus (in Pavino, De Sacrosancta basilica Lateranensi), he was buried in the tomb of Pope Sergius III in the Lateran basilica, but Montini adds that this information is erroneous because Pope Sergius III was buried in the Vatican basilica and, therefore, it is plausible that Pope John XI was also buried in the Vatican basilica. Piazzoni, "Giovanni XI." Enciclopedia dei papi, II, 72, says that his place of burial is not known and that it is unfounded to say that he was buried in the tomb of Pope Sergius III in the Lateran basilica.


Top Consistories Catalogs Home

©1998-2014 Salvador Miranda.