Feast Day of October 31
Wolfgang of Regensburg or Saint Wolfgang (c. 934 - October 31, 994) was bishop of Regensburg in Bavaria from Christmas 972 until his death. He is a saint of the Roman Catholic church (canonized in 1052). He is regarded as one of the three great German saints of the 10th century, the other two being Saint Ulrich and Saint Conrad of Constance.
Wolfgang was descended from the family of the Swabian Counts of Pfullingen. When seven years old he had an ecclesiastic as tutor at home; later he attended the celebrated monastic school at Reichenau Abbey.
Here he formed a strong friendship with Henry of Babenberg, brother of Bishop Poppo of Würzburg, whom he followed to Würzburg in order to attend the lectures of the noted Italian grammarian, Stephen of Novara, at the cathedral school.
After Henry was made Archbishop of Trier in 956, he summoned Wolfgang, who became a teacher in the cathedral school of Trier, and also laboured for the reform of the archdiocese, despite the hostility with which his efforts were met.
After the death of Archbishop Henry of Trier in 964, Wolfgang entered the Benedictine order in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and was ordained priest by Saint Ulrich in 968.
After their defeat in the Battle of the Lechfeld (955), a victory gained with the aid of Saint Ulrich, the heathen Magyars settled in ancient Pannonia. Wolfgang, according to the abbey annals, was "sent to the Magyars" as the most suitable man to evangelize them.
After the death of Bishop Michael of Regensburg (September 23, 972) Bishop Piligrim obtained from the emperor the appointment of Wolfgang as the new bishop (Christmas, 972). Wolfgang's services in this new position were of the highest importance, not only for the diocese, but also for the cause of civilization. As Bishop of Regensburg, Wolfgang became the tutor of Emperor Saint Henry II, who learned from him the principles which governed his saintly and energetic life.
He took part in the various imperial diets, and, in the autumn of 978, accompanied the Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris, and took part in the great Diet of Verona in June 983. He was a success by Gebhard I.
Towards the end of his life Saint Wolfgang withdrew as a hermit to a solitary spot, now the Wolfgangsee ("Wolfgang's Lake") in the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria, apparently on account of a political dispute, but probably in the course of a journey of inspection to Mondsee Abbey which was under the direction of the bishops of Regensburg. He was discovered by a hunter and brought back to Regensburg.
While travelling on the Danube to Pöchlarn in Lower Austria, he fell ill at the village of Pupping, which is between Eferding and the market town of Aschach near Linz, and at his request was carried into the chapel of Saint Othmar at Pupping, where he died.
Attributes: forcing the devil to help him to build a church; episcopal dress; depicted with an axe in the right hand and the crozier in the left; or as a hermit in the wilderness being discovered by a hunter.
Patronage: apoplexy; carpenters and wood carvers; paralysis; Regensburg, Germany; stomach diseases; strokes