Lillian Gish plays the girl whose travails begin when her father dies and her conniving sister cheats her out of her inheritance. Gish is deeply in love with handsome army officer Ronald Colman, but when war erupts, he is sent to the front. Soon after he is listed among the dead. In her despair, Gish turns to God and enters a convent. The scene in which she assumes the veil and takes her final vows is particularly moving and was supervised by the chief ceremonial director for the Vatican so it is also accurate. Soon after the ceremony, Colman who didn't really die, shows up and begs her to leave the Church for him. When that fails, he tries to trick her into petitioning the Pope, but again she stands firm. Just as she says no, Mount Vesuvius erupts and the soldier saves his beloved from certain death. Her sister doesn't fare as well. Still, before she dies, she begs for Gish's and God's forgiveness. Colman heroically races toward town to warn them, but dies before he arrives. Gish is sad, but continues to live her life for God.
by Sandra Brennan synopsis