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There were four Karamazov brothers: Dmitri, the sensualist–loving God but indulging his sins; Ivan, the intellectual–unable to believe in a good God; Smerdyakov, the twisted and cunning bastard son–and parricide; Alyosha, the monk and budding saint–a handsome young man who loves God and humanity.

Few literary characters are as good as Alyosha Karamazov.

He was “an early lover of humanity.” He was a rare sort: trusting yet respected; loving yet well-regarded by the worldly. “No one ever looked on him as a simpleton or naive person.” He was loved and admired by everyone–a rare trait for one of God's men, men who are frequently reviled in imitation of Christ. He lived a staunchly moral and good life, but never judged others: “There was something about him which made one feel at once that he did not care to judge others–that he would never take it upon himself to criticize and would not condemn anyone for anything.”

This combination, virtue with overwhelming love, is the fast track to sainthood. In the words of a Greek Orthodox holy man, “Never think or speak unkindly of another and you will gain salvation quickly."