|With the axe he tossed to Fortune|
Ulrich of Augsburg, recognizing that there would never be peace with the Magyars (Hungarians) until they were Christianized, sent Wolfgang to Pannonia to evangelize. Then a subsequent bishop named Piligrim, recognizing that Wolfgang's success was underwhelming, he sent others to sub for him.
Piligrim was no hater, though. When the see of Regensberg came open, Piligrim saw that Wolfgang was appointed to it. Wolfgang, having decided to live his life in a monastery, resisted, but his protests were overruled by his bishop and emperor.
|The Perils of a Disorderly Convent|
He set about reforming the way business was done, including cleaning up a couple of "disorderly convents" (wink-wink, nod-nod, know what I mean, say no more!). He tutored the Henry II, the future saint (July 13) and Holy Roman Emperor. He participated in councils, founded and reformed abbeys, and as is employed in the title above, cared for the poor.
|Wolfgang and the Devil plan to build a chapel|
None of which is as interesting as one episode -- largely legendary -- in the saint's later life. Although Wolfgang was an effective reformer and all-around great bishop, he never really liked the managerial work. He'd been bishop for about four years when he got the eremitic itch and bolted to Salzkammergut, Upper Austria. There, he climbed onto the mountainside and flung his axe down, letting the Lord (or Fortune, or Chaos, or whatever) guide his choice of sites for a chapel. Construction is tough work, but the Devil appeared to offer a bargain: top quality construction at the discount price of the first living being to enter the building. The Devil was the first to enter, as Wolfgang had anticipated, but he shrewdly pointed out that he was not a living being. But Wolfgang was shrewder, and left the door open until a wolf entered the chapel.
I have no doubt there would have been more scrapes between the Devil and Wolfgang the Hermit, had the Runway Bishop been allowed to stay in his lakeside hermitage. Sadly, a hunter happened upon him, recognized him, and brought him back to Regensberg, where he administered the diocese for another couple of decades.