Don Antonio and Dona Isabella Olivares are wealthy landowners and generous patrons of the Santa Fe parish. At a supper party, Don Antonio promises to give Latour enough money to build his cathedral, but Don Antonio dies before he can fulfill his promise. His second wife, Dona Isabella is a vain woman, physically attractive and full of energy. Her beauty inspires gossip that she conducts extramarital affairs. A cultivated woman and a devout Catholic, however, she likes to entertain the priests Latour and Vaillant, speak French with them, and sing for them.