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Little about the life and papacy of Stephen is known. He was a Roman and was the cardinal priest of St. Anastasia when he was elected pope in 939, probably through the influence of Marozia, an influential Roman senatrix whose family had controlled papal elections during much of the IX and early X Centuries. She was the mother of John XI and was responsible for deposing John X, who was still alive at the time of Stephen's consecration. Stephen is thought to have been active in the administration of the church while he was a priest, and his few recorded papal actions involve the granting of privileges to some monasteries in France and Italy. Stephen may have been assassinated in 931.
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