Father Sergius

Author: Tolstoy, Leo Nikolayevich (1828-1910)

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 novella.

Kathleen O’Bannon
CCEL Staff





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