Lawyer and journalist Matteo Teresi discovers the existence of a secret sect whose members include priests and politicians. The sect's seedy purpose is to initiate devout virgins into the rites of married life. Preying on their victims naivety, they commit ignominious acts while promising the young women divine grace. In 1901 the scandal breaks nationwide. But far from being hailed as a hero, Teresi is accused of disrupting the social order. A passionately rendered portrait of the machinations of power and the difficult destiny of a local hero.