Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg


Descending from the family of Swabian Counts of Pfullingen, Saint Wolfgang was born around the year 934 AD in Germany. He studied at Reichenau Abbey under the Benedictines after a tutor gave him an early education. He met and became friends with Henry of Babenberg and followed him to Wurzburg to attend the lectures of Stephen of Novara (a very famous Italian grammarian). For a while after his friend became the Archbishop of Trier, Saint Wolfgang was asked to be a professor at Trier where he would be come friends with Saint Romuald and begin learning and appreciating the monastic movements.


When the German forces of King Otto I the great defeated the Hungarian army led by harka Bulcsu, Saint Wolfgang was asked to go and preach to the Hungarian peoples (who were at the time pagan) and to evangelize them. He did so with great zeal and was followed by other missionaries afterwards by the Bishop Piligrim, Bishop of Passau.


In 964 AD, Saint Wolfgang entered the Benedictine Order at the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland. In 972, Bishop Piligrim consecrated Saint Wolfgang as the new Bishop of Regensburg, a town near modern day Munich. As Bishop he also acted as the private tutor of Emperor Saint Henry II and taught him Christian principles and lessons.


He immediately set out reforming various monastaries, reintroducing stricter discipline. He famously restored Saint Emmeram's Abbey, but also the convents of Obermunster and Niedermunster. He accompanied Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris and took part in the Diet of Verona in June of 983. Towards the end of his life, he sought out solace and quiet in prayer and left his diocese, retreating to a solitary spot now called Wolfgangsee ("Wolfgang's lake) in Austria. Within a short time though, he returned to his work in Regensburg. While on a journey to Pochlarn he fell ill at the village of Pupping on the river Danube. He was carried into the chapel there, the Chapel of Saint Othmar where he would die of his illness.


His body was taken by Count Aribo of Andechs and Archbishop Hartwich of Salzburg back to Regensburg where it was buried in the crypt of Saint Emmeram.


Saint Wolfgang is counted among the Fourteen Holy Helpers in Europe and is widely celebrated across the continent. A tradition holds that after praying in the wilderness, he threw his axe and where it fell he regarded as the place where God has chosen for him to build his hermitage. The town of Saint Wolfgang that would later build around the hermitage still displays the axe.






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