In the climate of anti-religious thought and persecution, it was essential for the missionaries to be well-prepared.
I would like some at least to prepare themselves for the polemics for which the enemies of the faith have such a facility and for which they show such talent.
See that they both speak and write well. Think up some exercises that will give them the facility for this.
Develop each one’s natural aptitudes.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 15 April 1831, EO VIII n 389
The scholasticate superior is encouraged to recognize the natural talents of the students and to help them to develop their gifts.