(III), pope from 768 to 772, was a Benedictine monk, and had been made cardinal-priest by pope Zachary. He condemned his rival, pope Constantine, who had been a layman, as a usurper of the episcopal chair, and in 769 held a synod in the Laterari, which decreed that only a deacon or a priest could attain to the papal dignity. The same synod sanctioned afresh the worship of images, relics, and saints, which had been rejected by a synod at Constantinople and by the emperor Constantine Copronymus. This pope also, was troubled by the Lombards, and sought relief at the hands of Charles and Carloman, the Frankish kings. The persistent enmity of the Lombards suggested the advisability of preventing any alliance between them and the Franks, and Stephen was accordingly concerned to prevent the consummation of a proposed marriage of Charles with Desideria, daughter of the Lombard king. He did not, however, accomplish his purpose; but Charles separated from his wife when they had been married one year. Stephen died in 772.
⇒Bible concordance for STEPHEN.