Viridiana, a young novice about to take her final vows as a nun, accedes to a request from her widowed uncle to visit him. Moved purely by a sense of obligation, she does so. Her uncle is moved by her resemblance to his late wife to attempt to seduce Viridiana, and tragedy ensues. In the aftermath, Viridiana tries to assuage her guilt by creating a haven for the destitute folk who live around her uncle's estate. But from these good intentions, too, comes little good.
A young postulant, Viridiana, is about to take her final vows as a nun and reluctantly visits an uncle, her only relative, even though she can barely remember him. He is most welcoming but when it comes time for her to return to the convent he insists that she stay with him. In fact, he's become quite infatuated with the young woman and wants to marry her, something she flatly refuses to do. He even takes to drugging her to keep her near him, but she will not bend to his will, leading to tragedy. Now alone, Viridiana does her best to help help the poor but nothing turns out as she had hoped.
Virdiana is a novice at a Spanish convent. She finds comfort in the solitude of the convent life. Before Viridiana takes her vows and remains cloistered within the convent walls as a nun, the Mother Superior directs her to make one last extended visit to her Uncle Jaime at his farm, this the last time she will probably ever see him before he eventually dies. Despite Uncle Jaime having paid for her education, Viridiana is reluctant to visit him both because of her discomfort outside the convent and never having felt close to him, he who she's only met once in her life. Viridiana's visit with Uncle Jaime leads to some actions and decisions with disastrous and sometimes tragic consequences and/or results. One of those decisions is Viridiana's change of mind in not returning to the convent - solely because she feels she can no longer do so - and redirecting her work in the name of God to the down and out in the nearby village. And one of Uncle Jaime's actions leads to the return of his adult estranged son, Jorge, whose presence at the farm may be in stark contrast to Viridiana's wants, again all in the name of God.
Viridiana, a young nun about to take her final vows, pays a visit to her widowed uncle at the request of her Mother Superior.
- Just before taking her final vows, a young idealistic nun Viridiana (Silvia Pinal) is requested by her Superior Mother to visit her uncle Don Jaime (Fernando Rey) who has funded her education and provided for the girl for many years. Viridiana has a low opinion of her uncle considering him a horrible person but agrees to visit him to say farewell before her entry into her religious career. When she arrives at Don Jaimes mansion she finds the man to be a quite gracious recluse living quietly with only his housekeeper and caretaker to maintain. Don Jaime confesses to Viridiana that his wife died on their wedding night and that the young nun-to-be is so similar to his dead wife that he wants her to stay with him for good. Viridiana is shocked and decides to leave immediately but Don Jaime drugs the young woman and attempts to make love to her but suffering a bout of guilt, decides against it. The next day Viridiana believes she has been violated during the night and decides to leave, but before she can the police inform her that Don Jaime has committed suicide and has left the future of his estate to be decided between her and brusque cousin Jorge (Francisco Rabal). As Viridiana acts the gracious owner by caring for the surrounding community of homeless by inviting them into the estate to care and feed for them she realizes that the real world has an endless array of challenges and compromises.