"The Pope must be stopped." These words launch American Ross Cameron and his beautiful Italian cousin Sabrina on a quest for missing Church documents concerning the Fatima Prophecies. A few clues from Sabrina's grandfather lead them to the highest peak of the Apennines, where they search for a mysterious chapel. The stakes are raised when Ross and Sabrina, after locating the missing papers, narrowly escape the mountain with their lives. Delivering their find to an enigmatic monk named Giotto, they are dismayed to learn they have recovered only two of the missing Prophecies. The subsequent search for the all important third mystery takes them to Rome, where they are soon immersed in a dangerous competition that connects them to events from a half century ago. In 1943 German occupied Rome is a powder keg. The threat of the bombing is a daily reality. Allied forces are only slowly advancing up the boot of Italy. The Germans, resolutely seeking to stop them, prepare to fight in the streets of Rome itself. Communist cells plan terrorist attacks against the occupiers. One Vatican priest considers an Allied victory as the only solution, and works behind the scenes for the liberation of the city. Another, a monsignor of the Curia, collaborates with the occupiers, supplying support to religious war criminals operating in Croatia. Repelled by this, a crusading priest from that region openly rebels against the Pope's authority, calling on him to resist the Nazi's. A terrified Pope attempts a desperate balancing act to guide the Church through these dangers. All comes to a head at the Ardeatine Grotto, where the Nazi's execute over three hundred innocent people. The Ardeatine massacre is the event that connects the past with the present. The crimes of those days, refusing to stay buried, comprise the secret awaiting Ross and Sabrina. They discover that the evils of war, far from remaining in the past, reverberate right up to the present day.