This is the Liturgy of the Hours for December 31. Your local date is .
“Our thoughts turn especially to Martin of Tours († 397), the soldier who became a monk and a bishop: he is almost like an icon, illustrating the irreplaceable value of the individual testimony to charity. At the gates of Amiens, Martin gave half of his cloak to a poor man: Jesus himself, that night, appeared to him in a dream wearing that cloak, confirming the permanent validity of the Gospel saying: ‘I was naked and you clothed me… as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’ (Mt 25:36, 40).” 
St. Martin of Tours was born in the 4th century. His father forced him to become a soldier like himself and forbade him to practice Christianity. While Martin served in the Roman army, he showed charity to a beggar, cutting his cloak in half and offering it to the man. This event, and the ensuing vision of Jesus, caused Martin to seek baptism. He lived for a time as a hermit, then gravitated to Poitiers, where he knew St. Hilary and founded a monastery at Ligugé, which still exists. Around 372, he was elected Bishop of Tours, despite his objections. As bishop, he lived in the community he founded. Also, he spent much of his time evangelizing to the rural poor. He died in 397. His life, written by Sulpicius Severus, became a model for saints’ lives.
Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD
 Benedict XVI, “Deus Caritas Est,” 40.
 Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
 F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 879.