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In 1663, Father Antonio Vieira is summoned to Coimbra to face trial by the Holy Office, the dreaded Inquisition. Intrigues at court and a brief fall from favor have undermined the stature of the famous Jesuit cleric and former close friend of the late king, Joao IV. Standing before the judges, Father Vieira revisits his past: his childhood in Brazil, his years as a novice in Bahia, his commitment to the Indians and his first great successes from the pulpit. Banned from preaching by the Inquisition, he travels to Rome, where his reputation and record of achievements persuade the Pope to place him under his sole jurisdiction. Queen Christina of Sweden, residing in Rome since her abdication, takes Father Vieira into her court and insists on his becoming her confessor....