Serge Mouret, the younger son of François
Mouret (see The Conquest of Plassans), was ordained to the priesthood
and appointed Curé of Les Artaud, a squalid village in Provence,
to whose degenerate inhabitants he ministered with small encouragement.
He had inherited the family taint of the Rougon-Macquarts, which in him
took the same form as in the case of his mother-a morbid religious enthusiasm
bordering on hysteria. Brain fever followed, and bodily recovery left
the priest without a mental past. Dr. Pascal Rougon, his uncle, hoping
to save his reason, removed him from his accustomed surroundings and left
him at the Paradou, the neglected demesne of a ruined mansion-house near
Les Artaud, where he was nursed by Albine, niece of the caretaker. The
Abbé fell in love with Albine, and, oblivious of his vows, broke
(J. G. Patterson)
More info about the Rougon-Macquart series at Wikipedia.