Zé is a very poor man from the Brazilian countryside. His most prized possession is his donkey. When his donkey falls terminally ill, Zé makes a promise to Saint Bárbara: If his donkey recovers, he will carry a cross - like Jesus - all the way from his city to Saint Bárbara's church in the state capital. Upon the recover of his donkey, Zé leaves on his journey. He makes it to the church, but the priest refuses to accept the cross once he came to know the context of Zé's promise.