Pope Leo VII

Papacy began 3 January 936
Papacy ended 13 July 939
Predecessor John XI
Successor Stephen VIII
Personal details
Born Unknown
Died 13 July 939(939-07-13)
Other popes named Leo

Pope Leo VII (Latin: Leo VII; died 13 July 939) was Pope from 3 January 936 to his death in 939. He was preceded by Pope John XI and followed by Pope Stephen VIII.[1][2] Leo VII's election to the papacy was secured by Alberic II of Spoleto, the ruler of Rome at the time. Alberic wanted to choose the pope so that the papacy would continue to yield to his authority. Leo was the priest of the church of St. Sixtus in Rome, thought to be a Benedictine monk. He had little ambition towards the papacy, but consented under pressure.

As pope, Leo VII reigned for only three years. Most of his bulls were grants of privilege to monasteries, especially including the Abbey of Cluny.[3] Leo called for Odo of Cluny to mediate between Alberic and Hugh of Italy, Alberic's stepfather, the King of Italy. Odo was successful in negotiating a truce after arranging a marriage between Hugh's daughter Alda and Alberic. Leo VII also appointed Frederick, Archbishop of Mainz, as a reformer in Germany. Leo allowed Frederick to drive out Jews that refused to be baptized, but he did not endorse the forced baptism of Jews.[4]

The circumstance of his death is unrecorded, although a spurious legend, from centuries after, maintains that he died of a heart attack while in congress with his mistress.[5]

After his death in July 939, Leo VII was interred at St. Peter's Basilica.


  1. 9th edition (1880s) of the Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. Platina, Bartolomeo (1479), The Lives of the Popes From The Time Of Our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII, I, London: Griffith Farran & Co., p. 239, retrieved 2013-04-25
  3. "Pope Leo VII" from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. Popes Through The Ages by Joseph Brusher S. J.
  5. Imma Penn (30 May 2007). Dogma Evolution & Papal Fallacies. AuthorHouse. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-4520-5994-5.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John XI
Succeeded by
Stephen VIII
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