Gastric cancer is associated with chronic inflammation (gastritis) triggered by persistent Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. Elevated tyrosine phosphorylation of the latent transcription factor STAT3 is a feature of gastric cancer, including H. pylori–infected tissues, and aligns with nuclear transcriptional activity. However, the transcriptional role of STAT3 serine phosphorylation, which promotes STAT3-driven mitochondrial activities, is unclear. Here, by coupling serine-phosphorylated (pS)-STAT3–deficient Stat3SA/SA mice with chronic H. felis infection, which mimics human H. pylori infection in mice, we reveal a key role for pS-STAT3 in promoting Helicobacter-induced gastric pathology. Immunohistochemical staining for infiltrating immune cells and expression analyses of inflammatory genes revealed that gastritis was markedly suppressed in infected Stat3SA/SA mice compared with wild-type mice. Stomach weight and gastric mucosal thickness were also reduced in infected Stat3SA/SA mice, which was associated with reduced proliferative potential of infected Stat3SA/SA gastric mucosa. The suppressed H. felis–induced gastric phenotype of Stat3SA/SA mice was phenocopied upon genetic ablation of signaling by the cytokine IL-11, which promotes gastric tumorigenesis via STAT3. pS-STAT3 dependency by Helicobacter coincided with transcriptional activity on STAT3-regulated genes, rather than mitochondrial and metabolic genes. In the gastric mucosa of mice and patients with gastritis, pS-STAT3 was constitutively expressed irrespective of Helicobacter infection. Collectively, these findings suggest an obligate requirement for IL-11 signaling via constitutive pS-STAT3 in Helicobacter-induced gastric carcinogenesis.