In Damascus, Saint Bartholomew came to preach and lay hands on the sick. He went through the city with only a walking stick, but he drew a crowd wherever he came. In his eyes, the people saw a holy fire, and they came to believe.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit, Bartholomew spoke in every tongue. He spoke to the Greeks, the Romans, the Hebrews, the Syrians, the Parthians, the Egyptians, the Arabs, and the Persians. Although he was Galilean, Bartholomew spoke as clearly to each man as if he had been born in their town. He taught repentance and professed his faith through his acts of healing.

Grace came among the lowly, and Bartholomew’s booming laughter echoed along the Straight Street. Those who lived in Damascus could swear that they heard his staff hit the ground wherever he walked, even from miles away.

When he left the city, Bartholomew blessed every child in his path. He then knelt at the city gates and offered thanks to God. “Praise be to you, Lord,” he said. “Blessed be the dust on my feet and the staff in my hand! I leave this city in peace, and I await wherever you see fit to lead me next.”