Wolfgang, St

Wolfgang, St.

and bishop of Ratisbon in the 10th century, belonged to a noble family of Alemanni, and was a pupil of the Convent of Reichenau, which, in the early half of that century, possessed the best school among the convents of Germany, and of Wirtzburg, where he had the misfortune to explain a passage in Martian Capella (De Nuptiis Philologiee et Mercurii) more thoroughly than his teacher, a learned Italian named Stephen, was able to do, and to be refused further instruction in consequence. In 956 he accompanied archbishop Henry of Treves to his diocese, and became a teacher of youth and dean of the clergy. On the death of the archbishop in 964, Wolfgang retired to the monastery of Einsiedeln, and became an example of faithful asceticism to his brother monks. Bishop Ulric of Augsburg ordained him to the priesthood, and he thereupon resolved to engage in missionary labors. He traveled through Alemannia and Noricum to Pannonia; but, meeting with less success than he had expected, he accepted a call to visit bishop Pilgrim of Passau, and was soon afterwards, through that prelate's influence, chosen bishop of Ratisbon, and invested with the staff. He was consecrated and enthroned in St. Peter's Church by archbishop Frederick of Salzburg and his suffragans in 973. Soon afterwards he persuaded his chapter to accede to the wish-of the Bohemians for a separation of their country from the diocese of Ratisbon, and its erection into an independent see; and he also supplied the Monastery of St. Emmerau, over which the bishops of Ratisbon had always presided, with a regular abbot, and set apart a portion of the cathedral possessions for the support of the monks. He furthermore reformed the nunneries of Upper and Lower Minster at Ratisbon, whose occupants, being generally of noble family, argued that they, as canonesses rather than regular nuns, were not required to practice so strict an asceticism as nuns; the end being accomplished through the zeal of the nuns of the new convent of Middle Münster which he founded. He was equally zealous and judicious in his care over the material and spiritual interests of his secular clergy and over the moral and physical needs of the common people. He was immovably loyal to the emperor, so that duke Henry II of Bavaria was unable to persuade him to become a supporter of the rebellion against Otho II; and when Henry submitted, Wolfgang built as a thank-offering the crypt at St. Emmerau. He accompanied the emperor's suite in the campaign of 978. On the return the army was pursued by the French, and, on reaching a swollen river, was in danger of being cut to pieces because the soldiers feared to attempt the crossing. Wolfgang thereupon plunged into the stream, and the army, emboldened by his example, escaped without the loss of a man. His influence led to a better cultivation of the East Marches of Bavaria. He built the Castle of Wieselberg as a defense against the inroads of the Hungarians. He also educated the children of duke Henry, the oldest of whom became at a later day the emperor of Germany. After administering the episcopal office during twenty-one years, he died at Puppingen, Oct. 31, 994, and was buried in a chapel of St. Emmerau's. See Othlo, Vita Wolfkangi, in Pertz, Monum. Germ. vol. 6; Calles, Ann. Eccles. Germ. vol. 4; Arnold de Vochberg, in Canisius, 3, 1; Ried, Cod. Diplom. 1, 106 sq.; Bolland, in Pauli Vit. S. Erhardi ad Jan. p. 538; Zirngibi, in Neue Abhandl. d. bairisch. Akademie, 3, 1793, p. 679 sq.; Rettberg, Kirchengesch. Deutschlands, 2, 268 sq.; Herzog, Real- Encyklop. s.v.

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