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Acca of Hexham, St.


Bishop of Hexham; d. Hexham, England, Oct. 20, 740. A Northumbrian, he was fostered by Bosa (d. 705), who was afterward appointed bishop of York (678), and he became the devoted disciple and companion of wilfrid. When the latter was reinstated at Hexham in 705, he made Acca abbot of St. Andrew's monastery there. Acca succeeded Wilfrid as bishop of Hexham in 709. In addition to ruling the diocese with zeal, he concerned himself with the promotion of the liturgy in all its splendor by procuring the service of the cantor Maban (fl. 720), who had inherited the Roman tradition of psalmody of gregory the great, brought to England by the monks of Augustine of Canterbury. He completed, decorated, and richly furnished the churches begun by Wilfrid. He promoted learning, built and equipped a famous library, and, above all, encouraged bede, who wrote about him and dedicated several books to him. He was expelled from Hexham in 732 for some unknown reason; he sought refuge in Galloway but returned to die and be buried in his diocese.

Feast: Oct. 20.

Bibliography: bede, Ecclesiastical History 5:1920; ed. c. plummer 1:330332. j. godfrey, The Church in Anglo-Saxon England (Cambridge, England 1962), passim. a. s. cook, "The Old-English Andreas and Bishop Acca of Hexham," Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 26 (1924) 245332. a. m. zimmermann, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 1:103; Kalendarium Benedictinum (Metten 193338) 3:200203.

[c. mcgrath]

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