Pope Stephen II (Latin: Stephanus II (or III), a Roman aristocrat, was Pope from 26 March 752 to his death in 757. He succeeded Pope Zachary following the death of Pope-elect Stephen (sometimes called Stephen II). Stephen II marks the historical delineation between the Byzantine Papacy and the Frankish Papacy.
The safety of Rome was facing invasion by the Kingdom of the Lombards. Pope Stephen II traveled all the way to Paris to seek assistance against the Lombard threat from Pepin the Short. Pepin had been anointed a first time in 751 in Soissons by Boniface, archbishop of Mainz, but named his price. With the Frankish nobles agreeing to campaign in Lombardy, the Pope consecrated Pepin a second time in a lavish ceremony at the Basilica of St Denis in 754, bestowing upon him the additional title of Patricius Romanorum (Latin for "Patrician of the Romans") in the first recorded crowning of a civil ruler by a Pope. Pepin defeated the Lombards - taking control of northern Italy - and made a gift (called the Donation of Pepin) of the properties formerly constituting the Exarchate of Ravenna to the pope, eventually leading to the establishment of the Papal States.
In sources prior to the 1960s, this Pope is sometimes called Stephen III and Pope-elect Stephen is sometimes called Stephen II.