The miracle depicted has been set before the high altar of the Abbey of Saint-Denis near Paris. Many of the objects shown can be proved to have existed in the church. This is the only surviving representation of the church as it was in about 1500.
Charles Martel (?) (kneeling left) could not bring himself to confess a sin. He asked Saint Giles to pray for him. While Giles was celebrating Mass, an angel placed on the altar a paper on which was written the king's sin and his pardon, dependent on his repentance. The incident is said to have taken place in Orléans in 719. In some forms of the legend Charlemagne replaces Martel.
This and 'Saint Giles and the Hind' are part of an altarpiece which included 'Episodes from the Life of a Bishop Saint' and the 'Baptism of Clovis' (both in Washington).