Praedicatores misericordiae (X): Blessed Jean-Joseph Lataste

Blessed Jean-Joseph Lataste is known as the "Apostle of the prisons" or "Apostle of Mercy". 
As a young friar, he came to the women's prison i Cadillac, France to preach a retreat, and was given a profound experience of conversion as he realized how judgmental and condescending his own attitude to these women had been. 

Among his most famous words are: "God is not interested in what you have been, but in what you are" and "The hand which raises up on person from his or her sins, is the same hand which kept another one from falling in the first place."

Read more in this article on the website of the Dominicans of the English Province, from which we have also borrowed the following excerpt from the writings of p. Lataste:

The Gospel tells us that at Bethany there lived two sisters: Martha of inviolable virtue and Mary Magdalene who had been a sinner. Jesus loved to come and rest in their home, where one served him and the other listened to his words. He made no distinction between them - or did he…? It is rather Magdalene who is preferred. Martha is surprised and Jesus answers kindly but still gives preference to Magdalene: ‘You worry and fret about so many things; yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the “better part” and it is not to be taken from her.’ (Luke 10:41). What was the better part? It was that Magdalene loved more. She who had been a sinner had advanced further in the way of divine love than Martha, the model of virtue. When God loves us and gives us his grace, he does not ask us what we have been; he is only concerned with what we are - not with how far we have fallen, but with how much we love. He judges us only on the strength of our love. Happy are those whose past urges them on to a greater love, and happy those others who, in a sort of rivalry, redouble their own efforts in order not to be left behind .
(Lataste, Les Réhabilités).