Beginning in the year 1657, in an imaginary court of the 17-year-old Cosimo de' Medici III. The land is in the throes of pestilence and famine where all the women have become sterile. Incredibly, a repulsive old woman gives birth to a beautiful male child who quickly becomes a symbol of rebirth and fertility. He is exploited for money and power by his sister who is convinced that together they can successfully impersonate the Virgin Mary and Child. This incites the wrath of the Church whose even greater powers of exploitation carry the deceptions to an inevitable end.