Celtic and Old English Saints          20 October

* St. Bradan of the Isle of Man
* St. Orora of the Isle of Man
* St. Aidan of Mayo
* St. Acca of Hexham

St. Bradan.Bishop of the Isle of Man
and St. Orora of the Isle of Man
(Crora )
Dates unknown. Bradan and Orora are venerated in the Isle of Man, but
their story has been lost. Bishop Mark of Sodor held a synod in the
church of Saint Bradan (Kirk-Braddan), near Douglas, in 1291. A
16th-century map references the churches of SS Patrick and Crora

St. Aidan, Bishop of Mayo
Died 768. Aidan was an Irish bishop in Mayo of whom nothing more is
known (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

St. Acca, Bishop of Hexham, Friend of Saint Bede
Born in Northumbria, England, c. 660; died 742; feast day can be October
19; feast of translation is February 19. From his youth Acca had been
close to other saints of the time. He was raised in the household of
Saint Bosa of York and became a disciple and constant companion of Saint
Wilfrid, whom he accompanied for 13 years to England, Frisia, and Rome
(and in the last, says Bede, 'learning many valuable things about the
organisation of the church which he could not have found out in his own
country'). When Wilfrid was ill at Meaux in 705, he told Acca the story
of his vision. Later, on his deathbed, Wilfrid named Acca abbot of Saint
Andrew's in Hexham.

Acca was also a friend of the Venerable Bede, who described him as
"great in the sight of God and man" and who dedicated several works in
his honour. For his part, Acca urged Bede to write a simple commentary
on Luke because that completed by Saint Ambrose was too long and
diffuse. He also supplied material to Bede for the Ecclesiastical
history and to Eddius for his life of Saint Wilfrid.

Saint Wilfrid was the first English prelate to appeal to Rome in a
dispute. Acca, who succeeded Wilfrid in the see of Hexham in 709, also
believed that the English Church needed to be brought into line with
Roman customs--liturgically rather than legally. Bede writes, "He
invited a famous singer named Maban, who had been trained by the
followers of Pope Gregory's disciples in Kent, to come and teach him and
his clergy." Maban, a monk of Canterbury, taught church music for 12
years--reviving old forgotten chants as well as bringing new ones. Acca
also sang beautifully, according to Bede, and encouraged this revival by
his own example.

Acca loved the Scriptures and studied them diligently. He refurbished
the churches with sacred vessels and lights. Above all he enlarged and
beautified the cathedral of Saint Andrew in Hexham, and adorned it with
altars, relics, and sacred vessels. He also finished three of Wilfrid's
smaller churches. He also established a fine library to which scholars
and students were drawn, all of whom received the patronage of Bishop
Acca, one of the most learned Anglo-Saxon prelates of his day. Bede
considered this library one of the finest collections available.

For some reason Acca was forced out of his diocese in 732. He was exiled
to Withern (Whithorn), Galloway (and may have been its bishop); but he
returned before his death and was buried at Hexham. Two stone crosses
decorated with grape vines adorned his tomb in the cathedral's east
wall. The relics were translated in the late 11th century, at which time
a portable altar inscribed "Almae Trinitati, agiae Sophiae, sanctae
Mariae" was found in his coffin. They were again translated in 1154 and
1240 (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopaedia, Farmer).

He is generally depicted in art as an abbot or bishop in a library with
monks, sometimes with the Venerable Bede (Roeder).

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