Alfred leaves Aliena in Kingsbridge to build stone homes in Shiring. That summer, Aliena sets out with her son to find Jack, tracking him all the way to the Saint-Denis cathedral in France. They name the baby Tommy, after Tom Builder.

As Jack works at Saint-Denis, a ceremony is held for the new cathedral. The king himself is to be there, so Jack brings his family to see him. As the crowd pushes to see the procession, a riot breaks out. Desperate to get his family to safety, Jack has an idea. He takes a statue of the Virgin Mary that weeps—a gift from a friend in Toledo—from his bag and orders the crowd to revere the Madonna. The crowd proclaims a miracle, and Jack tells them the statue is on a journey from God to Kingsbridge.

As they make their way back home, Jack collects men who want to work in Kingsbridge as well as donations for a new cathedral inspired by the Weeping Madonna. When Jack and his family arrive at Cherbourg, France, to sail home, people accuse Jack of being a ghost. Jack has found his father's family, who thought their son, Jacques Cherbourg, had drowned in a shipwreck.

Home again in England, Jack and Aliena disrupt Prior Philip's mass with a procession of the Weeping Madonna. Jack tells the congregation he has been sent to help Kingsbridge and ushers in the men who came with him from France, who are carrying chests of money. Philip is wary of Jack's miracle until he sees the Weeping Madonna effect on one of his parishioners. Philip welcomes Jack back to Kingsbridge and the monks agree to hire Jack as master builder as long as he lives apart from Aliena—who is still technically married to Alfred—and apply for an annulment.

Jack finds his mother in the forest to tell her that he met his father's family and demand to know who set up his father. Ellen finally reveals their identities—the monk was Philip's predecessor, James; the knight was Percy Hamleigh and the priest was Waleran Bigod.

In the meantime, William and Regan visit Waleran at his new castle with the news of the Weeping Madonna. William is not happy because the men from his farms are moving to Kingsbridge for work on the cathedral. William vows to attack the market, but their meeting is interrupted by Jack who has come to confront Waleran about his father. He gets no answers, but his suspicions are confirmed before he is ordered away. William, Regan and Waleran then decide that Jack must die in the next raid.

Back at Kingsbridge, Aliena tells Jack she is pregnant again. Suddenly, Richard bursts into the house with news that William will attack on Sunday. They mobilize the town to build a protective wall, and Philip hires Richard to organize town defenses. Caught off guard by Kingsbridge's preparedness, William's men are defeated.

William vows to attack again, but Waleran urges him to forget his private war. Still craving revenge on Jack, William asks Waleran to oppose Aliena's annulment.

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