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A member of a noble family, Stephen was raised in the Lateran and was ordained by Leo III. Elected to the papacy in 816, Stephen swore loyalty to Louis I the Pious, whom he crowned and anointed Holy Roman Emperor at Rheims. This incident was the first imperial anointing and indicated that the pope's seal of approval was necessary to the emperor. While at Rheims, Stephen arranged for the return to Rome of those who had opposed Leo III, whom Charlemagne had exiled to Gaul. Stephen died in 817, six months after his election.
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