Anne Fitzgerald, formerly a nun, is now a private investigator who tells most of the story. Kathleen Beavier is a sixteen-year-old girl living in America, one of two girls who is pregnant but seems to be a virgin. Colleen Deirdre Galaher, fourteen, lives in Ireland, and is the second girl who is pregnant. Father Nicholas Rosetti is the priest sent by the pope to determine if the girls are virgins, and if they are, which one is having the divine baby and which is having the devil's baby. Sister Katherine Dominica is Colleen's advisor and helper. Justin O'Carroll is sent by the pope to first go to Newport to protect Kathleen and Anne and then is to stay in Colleen's house in Ireland. Pope Pius and Cardinal John Rooney are mentors to Anne and Justin. Colleen's mother is very ill and must be taken care of. An evil presence attacks Rosetti, threatening to kill him, and tell him it knows the secret of the holy child. A young man, who is now dead, went out with Kathleen, a night she can't remember.