Born of noble parents at Vercelli Italy, in 1085, St. William made a barefoot pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela, Spain at the age of 14. On his return he began living the life of a hermit during which time he performed his first miracle: restoring the sight of a blind man. He tried to lead a solitary life on Mt. Virgiliano in the Kingdom of Naples. He renamed the mountain Monte Virgine (Mount of the Virgin). Many followers joined him, and he formed them into a monastic community. They built a church and dedicated it to Our Lady of Monte Virgine. Asked to act as a counselor to the King of Naples, William miraculously converted a loose woman sent to tempt him from virtue, by lying in a bed of fiery coals and arising unharmed. He died in 1142.
Thousands of people still make annual pilgrimages to this shrine and venerate the picture of Our Lady of Monte Virgine.
The wolf is shown with St. William because, according to local legend he assisted in the building of a monastery at Monte Virgine by carrying stones to the building site.