Cabiria is an optimistic, romantic, poor young woman who lives off unscrupulous men. On one particularly despairing day, she goes to church to pray. She begs God for a miracle to change her life. Not long after this, she meets a seemingly earnest young man who is willing to marry her. She is at the height of happiness, and she believes she has been saved breaking from her lurid past. She takes all of her savings to follow him, but he vanishes with her money.