Jean Valjean had stolen silver from the Bishop and the local authorities had caught him red handed. On his own merits, there was nothing Valjean could do to rectify the situation. He didn’t have the money to pay for it. He was guilty. But then something amazing happened. The Bishop tells the officers that the silver was a gift. He reminds Valjean that the ex-convict had even forgotten to take two silver candlesticks with him. The sacrifice for Valjean was not made by himself but by the Bishop .
He let him go.