by Leo Tolstoy
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The young, proud Stepan Kasatsky has a seemingly bright future ahead of him: he has
risen to a high rank in the Russian army, and he will soon marry the beautiful Countess
Mary Korotkova. When Stepan discovers his fiancée’s infidelity—with Czar Nicholas I,
no less—he experiences such heartbreak and humiliation that he flees, later dedicating
himself to the Russian Orthodox Church. He takes the name “Father Sergius.” Although
he becomes a celebrated churchman, he continues to struggle with pride and lust. Written
during Tolstoy’s later, post-conversion years, Father Sergius shares the characteristic
messages of humility, abstinence, self-denial, and total faith in God. In 1917, Yakov
Protazanov, one of the founding fathers of Russian cinema, directed a film inspired by the
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