Bishop and scholar, a companion of early English saints and missionaries. Acca was born in Northumbria, England, and was educated in the company of St. Bosa, a Benedictine apostle of great courage. He also met St. Wilfrid, who appointed him the abbot of St. Andrew's Monastery in Hexham, England. Acca joined St. Wilfrid as early as 678 and accompanied him to Rome in 692. When Wilfred died in 709, Acca succeeded him as the bishop of Hexham. He spent his monastic and episcopal years erecting parish churches in the area. He also introduced Christian arts and promoted learning. Acca brought a famous cantor, a man named Maban, to Hexham, and with him introduced the Roman Chants. St. Bede dedicated several of his works to Acca, who also promoted other Christian writers. For reasons undocumented, Acca was driven out of Hexham in 732. He retired to a hermitage in Withern, in Galloway. Just before his death in 742 he returned to Hexham and was unanimously revered. When he was buried, two Celtic crosses were recreated at his gravesite. One still stands in Hexham. When his body was moved sometime later, his vestments were found intact. The accounts of Acca's miracles were drawn up by St. Aelred and by the historian Simeon of Durham.
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By Justin Soutar
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