A young man of great affluence and potential is set to be wed, but on the night before the ceremony, he discovers that his wife-to-be has betrayed him. He commits himself to a religious life in order to recover from the profound shock, but despite an ever-increasing reputation for holiness and piety, Father Sergius remains racked by doubt and unhappiness throughout his life. Will he ever find true enlightenment and freedom from his past?
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Abbot aide-de-camp asked attained became began to pray bench biretta bless boots bowed bread cadet cassock cell Christ's church cockchafer conducting the service crowd crown of thorns daughter devil door drive elm tree Emperor Emperor Nicholas everything exclaimed eyes face Father Seraphim Father Sergius remained feeling feet fell felt finger forgive gave hair hand head healing heard hermit hermitage holy hundred versts icons inner Kasatsky Kasatsky's knew lady lectern lived looked Lord Lukerya Makovkina Masha merchant monastery monk mother Nicholas Pavlovich night pale Pashenka passed peasant Petersburg pilgrims Praskovya Mikhaylovna prayers psalm remembered replied ruble saint sake seemed Sergius's Siberia silent sitting sledge smile Sofya Ivanovna solitude son-in-law soul starets Stepan stepped Stiva stood suddenly Tambov tell temptation thinking thought told took town tramped voice white dogskin wild cherries wished woman women