I have long believed that St. Maria Gorretti is one of the most important saints of modern times (born in 1890 and stabbed to death in 1902 at the age of twelve). This should not be an optional memorial. These days, the idea that a young girl should defend her virginity as Maria did, by referring to the Will of God, is unthinkable to many in our diseased western society.
We know that many teenage girls and young women these days go out on Friday and Saturday nights with the express purpose of having sex. I would guess that hardly any young couples getting married today are still virgins, and as for the virtue of chastity - it's something of a joke now even amongst Catholic young people. At the same time, we have the sexualisation of the young through fashion and certain aspects of the media and the almost paranoid fear of child abuse. Children are to be protected at all costs - except when it comes to the behaviour of their own parents and older siblings or with regard to the clothes they are made to wear.
How we need the prayers of virgin martyrs today.