How the Aztecs killed their victims

WARNING: A bit gory, though no reconstructions are shown.

Earlier I mentioned that it was possible for the victims of Aztec heart-sacrifice to maintain consciousness during the process, and that the heart, even after it was ripped from the chest, could still be beating. I checked up on this and found a relevant video from the History Channel. It confirms both statements.

These sacrifices, of course, were made in the name of religion. And they were numerous: some estimates are as high as 5,000 victims killed in a single day when a temple was consecrated, and many more thousands as quotidian sacrifices during the year. (For two other, longer videos on this topic, with reconstructions of the practice by surgeons, go here and here.)

One thing that struck me visiting the pre-Columbian temples around Mexico City is the number of gods they worshiped and which had to be propitiated with blood. Yet, as H. L. Mencken pointed out in a famous essay, those gods are dead: almost nobody believes in them any more. They are ex-gods, bereft of life.

It would be interesting to ask a theologian why he or she absolutely denies the divinity of Huitzilopochtli or Quetzalcoatl. If said theologian were a Christian, Jew, or Muslim, I suppose they’d cite the Qur’an or Bible. But that’s only because there was no formal written Aztec scripture—only engravings, murals, and word of mouth.


  1. Posted November 7, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Nice! (For certain values of nice that is!)

    I remember when I visited Chitzenitza a few years back, which is Mayan as opposed to Aztec of course, they told us that the “victims” of human sacrifice very often volunteered to be slaughtered.

    At Chitzenitza, there is a “football” field where an ancient ball game was played. The winners were all sacrificed afterwards – but apparently, everyone played for the honour of winning.

    Religion? Mad!

    However, they (the Mayans) did also do pretty well in Astronomy, there’s an observatory at Chitzenitza as well as the gory stuff.


    • Howard Kornstein
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t be so quick to say that modern religion has progressed at all beyond the ideas of more ancient ones which involved human sacrifice. Given that Jesus, “the lamb of god”, “died for our sins” in “the agony of Christ” all seems to me pretty much the same religious sacrificial bill of fare.

      • Bebop
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        Maybe but this is a progress no?
        Just one guy for the rest of eternity in comparison to weekly victims…

        • Howard Kornstein
          Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          It does call to mind that memorable comment of dear Christopher Hitchins on the requirement of a ritual sacrifice of Jesus life “for our sins” ……
          “Not in my name, thank you”

    • Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      It probably should be pointed out that the Maya did not practice the classic Aztec heart sacrifice, even though there are a lot of historically inaccurate depictions (think “Apocalypto”) that show Mayans doing this. The Maya did practice human sacrifice, of course, but comparatively less dramatic acts of beheading the losing team in a high-stakes ball games, or throwing virgins into a deep sinkhole. Mayan city-states were definitely warlike, but they existed on a smaller scale than the Aztec empire (compare the Greek city states vs the Roman Empire) and thus never had anything on the scale of the Aztec Empire’s “Flower Wars”, which yielded so many sacrificial victims.

      At the risk of sounding pedantic, I’ll also point out that Chichen Itza was a Mayan city state, but one that existed many hundreds of years after the collapse of classical Mayan civilization, and one that had come under a great deal of influence from the civilizations of the Valley of Mexico, especially the Toltecs. This gives the Itza more “Aztec-like” cultural features than would be typical of the classical Maya.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      I thought it was the losers who were sacrificed.

      • Posted November 8, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

        Well, when I was listening to the guide, I was expecting him to say that, but he made it very clear that it was the winners who had the honour (!) of being killed off after the game.

        Not a great career prospect then!


  2. TJR
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    One of the things that gives me hope for the future of the human species is that most surviving and popular religions have attached some sort of vaguely sensible moral code to themselves, whereas the most horrific religions, like the Aztec religion, have died out.

    This suggests that “natural selection” of religions favours the “less bad” religions to some extent, and hence suggests that “human nature” isn’t so bad after all.


    (Please imagine that I’ve written all the caveats to the above here).

    • Posted November 7, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      I think the Aztecs were actually wiped out.

      • Posted November 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        At 50,000 a year, that’s attrition comparable to a(n additional) small annual plague.

  3. Grania Spingies
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I’d be a lot more inclined to use Huitzilopochtli or Quetzalcoatl in my arguments with believers if I could pronounce either of them.

    • Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink


    • Occam
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Not to mention Chalchiuhtlicue.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s pretty straightforward, actually. Spanish spelling was regularized a few centuries ago by a king with a hobby in linguistics, and the conquistadors used that system to transcribe the native names phonetically. So just sound them out letter by letter, substituting K for Qu, and putting the stress on the penultimate syllable.


      You may not sound like a native, but you won’t be too far wrong.

      • Grania Spingies
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Thank you 🙂

  4. Posted November 7, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    IIRC, the purpose of the sacrifices was to make sure the Sun would continue to rise.

    And they worked!

  5. Posted November 7, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    So often we overlook the environmental influences for pericardial edema.

  6. Howard Kornstein
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Given the strong ecumenical posturing of “enlightened Christianity” today I would think that there should be far more time spent in showing a proper respect for a belief in Thor, Isis, Quetzalcoatl etc.
    I myself have a great fondness for the gods of Greek mythology – Zeus and his lot. These gods were totally indifferent to human suffering, being themselves vain, capricious, and totally arbitrary. Belief in Zeus certainly provides an exceedingly superior explanation for the problem of evil than any religious philosophers or apologists have been able to come up with in these past 1500 years.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      These gods were totally indifferent to human suffering, being themselves vain, capricious, and totally arbitrary.

      Prometheus? Not totally indifferent to human suffering. And his liver is up there with Aztec heart-throbbing antics on the bedtime reading stakes.

      • gravelinspector
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Sorry ; now thinking of that great defender of Christendom against the Muslims : Vlad the Impaler.

  7. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I checked up on this and found a relevant video from the History Channel.

    Now there’s an unimpeachable source.
    History Channel: Why so much woo-woo ********?

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Before you go dissing the information presented simply on the grounds that it’s the history channel, be aware the information presented in the video at top has been corroborated by several sources I’ve checked on the internet (look at the other two videos, too); that includes the number of victims.

      Or are you saying that we shouldn’t believe ANYTHING on the History Channel?

      • gravelinspector
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Following the original link and being reminded of “Ancient Aliens, Brad Meltzer’s Decoded, MonsterQuest, BigFoot Evidence, The Nostradamus Effect, The Real Face of Jesus?, The Bible Code, UFO Hunters” … yes History Channel isn’t exactly unimpeachable. OTOH, they also have some stuff worth watching : Time Team, lots of WW2 stuff (if you happen to like that sort of thing).
        That video you linked looks to be one of their better bits, but they’ve also scraped the bottom of the barrel pretty comprehensively too. It’s the old “57 channels and nothing on” problem.
        (The range of programmes is likely to be different in America ; maybe better ; may be worse.)
        I don’t think that we’ve had the pleasure of this “Decoded” programme on this side of the pond. [Searches] “political thriller author and non-fiction writer Brad Meltzer and follows a team of investigators who try to determine the meanings behind various symbolism, alleged secret codes and conspiracies that surround us everyday.”
        I’m shuddering already. And not in pleasurable anticipation.

        • gravelinspector
          Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          In an almost unbelievable coincidence, while writing the above, my inbox got populated with a survey “Discovery Viewpoint would like to ask you some questions about a programme you may have watched on Discovery Channel recently.”
          Well, if you don’t tell them what you think, then you’ve got no grounds for complaining about what’s on the telly. I’ll link to this thread.

      • Reginald Selkirk
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Or are you saying that we shouldn’t believe ANYTHING on the History Channel?

        No. I’m saying that if you verified the info with a better source than HC, then let us know that, and what your sources were. Because an HC endorsement does not impress.

        Or are you saying that we shouldn’t believe ANYTHING on the History Channel?

        File that one under “strawman.” Shame.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        But it is the spanish conqurers’ writings. Since when did we trust the priests!? =D

        Seriously, I’m no archaeologist of course. But extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. Why would a society necessarily do human sacrifice? (As opposed to kill captured soldiers, say?)

        I’ve been looking at this since yesterday, and I can find many references to archaeological finds of child sacrifice in many South and North Pre-Columbian cultures. They started early (1906 in Teotihuacan), encompassed many cultures and were substantial finds (up to ~ 40 individuals).

        Apparently in the different spansih et cetera texts these sacrifices were done at “special occasions”.

        Of adult human sacrifice, I can find one (1!) archaeological find, of ~ 10 individuals, 2005ish, again in Teotihuacan. I don’t know how well that find was received among archaeologists.

        Yet these sacrifices was claimed to be numerous and frequent compared to the child sacrifices.

        Personally I don’t see how the frequency claims pass the smell test from the evidence uncovered, assuming my haphazard google-fu is sufficiently mirroring the science. Why would children remains be that much easier to find? The easier explanation is that adult sacrifices were even rarer.

        It seems there were adult sacrifices though. And I hope all those who knows about these areas of archaeology add their thoughts.

        • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
          Posted November 7, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          Language note: I forgot that the idiom “the smell test” is specifically morally acceptable.

          Is there a similar idiom for “empirically acceptable”? Maybe I should instead say I smell a rat.

        • Alektorophile
          Posted November 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          It is somewhat tricky to archaeologically find victims of human sacrifice, but there are enough excavated cases to say that it was indeed a common and widespread practice in Mesoamerica and beyond (the Inkas and their predecessors did it, too). It is however probably safe to assume that the many thousands or even just hundreds of victims in a day ascribed to the Aztecs is the product of both Aztec propaganda (it was, after all, an expansionistic empire in the business of forcing other populations into a submissive tributary relationship) and Spanish propaganda aimed at portraying their bloody conquests as a civilizing endeavour (they were after all an expansionistic empire yadda yadda yadda).

          As for evidence of adult human sacrifice, even just at Teo there is more. At the Feathered Serpent Pyramid complex over two hundred sacrifice victims were found for example (
          Another great well-documented example that comes to mind is a precursor to the Aztec tzompantli or skull rack found to the south towards Oaxaca, this one dating to a thousand years before the Aztecs. It had over 50 skulls (
          There are many more, but nothing on the scale of thousands.

  8. Bebop
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I liked a lot Mel Gibson’s movie Apocalypto. It is a very entertaining pre-colombian action movie…

    We follow the hero when he was made prisoner and how he manages to escape from the pyramid where a priest wants to take his heart.

    Mel doesn’t play in it, he produced it. He did a very good job I think.

  9. guilherme21msa
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Now, how can you atheists insist that Tlaloc doesn’t exist when the Aztecs sacrificed 1,000 children every year to that god! Do you think the Aztecs would have simply believed a lie?

    Also, if you din’t believe in Huitzilipochtli, why do you talk about it? I don’t believe in the tooth fairy and I don’t go around trying to show people that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist!

    • gravelinspector
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I think I’ve heard this argument before.

    • Occam
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Which shows the superior Aztec attitude towards logic: as they could not categorically exclude the existence of Tlaloc, prudence dictated placating him.

      I’m also impressed with Aztec parsimony. The 20 day festivals celebrating Tlaloc with child sacrifices were the Atlcahualo (12th February 12 – 3rd March; the Tozoztontli (24th March – 12th April); and the Atemoztli (9th – 28th December).
      One cannot help noticing that the first period corresponds roughly, in Northern latitudes, to skiing holidays; the second, to Easter recess; the third, to Christmas hostilities. All of these being periods when treats and presents are made to children. Tlaloc adepts chose to turn the tables on the obnoxious brats and make a present of children. Awesome!

      • guilherme21msa
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        If Tlaloc doesn’t exist and we sacrifice 1,000 children per year to Him, we lose nothing and we gain nothing, but if Tlaloc does exist and we don’t sacrifice 1,000 children per year to Him, He will withhold our rainwater and cause a drought that will kill us all. So, it’s better to sacrifice children to Tlaloc than to not sacrifice children to Tlaloc.

  10. Anthony Paul
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Years ago, it was hypothesized that the sacrificed victims were a protein source in a region without a lot of large animals, i.e., it was really cannibalism, but I have no idea if that’s been discredited. As best I recall, part of the inspiration for the idea was the question of where all the bodies went.

  11. Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I’d say it’s less Darwinian and more social evolution. Religion matches the type of society it occurs in, and is an integral part of it. Ancient empires, of which the Aztecs were a type of, were extremely violent by their very nature, and often featured gruesome public spectacles as a way of driving home the power of the state to its enemies, both external and internal. The Aztecs were almost merciful compared with the slow tortures the Assyrians would inflict on captured prisoners of war in huge public spectacles.

    And lets not forget the Christianity of the same era. The Aztec’s Spanish conquerors practiced auto da fe, essentially a religious ritual that involved human sacrifice by burning the enemies of the state religion. Why history books never properly refer to that practice as “human sacrifice” is beyond me.

    It was the evolution of the state, infrastructure, and mass communications that to a large degree eliminated barbaric rituals like this. In ancient times, the state was often a distant entity that could only compel obedience by terror, and the more dramatic and massive the terror, the better. In the modern world, for a variety of reasons, it is possible to govern without brutality, albeit, the 20th Century saw the rise of totalitarianism, a model the world seems to have thankfully rejected. And, of course, we see the break down of civilized governance all over the place in the form of state failure, and “civilized” societies like ours going utterly batshit when faces with a serious terrorist threat. Still, we’re pretty far from the ancient world, and hopefully, things will stay that way.

    • RWO
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      If the outcomes of global warming are only half as catastrophic as the most dire predictions, I will be surprised if authoritarianism is not universal in application, or nearly so.

  12. raven
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The US fundie xians still practice human child sacrifice.

    1. Around 100 children or so are sacrificed every year by medical neglect, aka “faith healing”. I’ve seen this myself a few times.

    2. Occasionally they just torture and beat them to death in a ritual known as “raising up a child.” This is less common but it happens.

    The Aztecs probably didn’t think their rituals were bloody and unpleasant either. To insiders, it was necessary to keep the sun moving in the sky and the rains going.

  13. Pete UK
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Nod to Monty Python noted and appreciated! Shame they never went to work on Aztec sacrifices. I can see Michael Palin knee deep in guts saying “another 4000 – you’re having a laugh, aren’t you? It’s already lunchtime and I’ve only been back at work for two days. What? Oh, repetitive strain injury”.

    Or Cleese at a stone desk: “Which god did you say? Quezacoatl? No, those were for one called Loki. Lungs only, you said. Yeah, Loki. Dunno, started after the exchange scheme with the vikings. Bugger. Start again. No, we need fresh live ones. Can you mark the victims more clearly next time?”.

  14. impulse
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    “But that’s only because there was no formal written Aztec scripture—only engravings, murals, and word of mouth.”

    Jerry, I guess you’ve never heard of the codices.

    They’re actualy a primary source of information on the Aztec world. And they are quite impressive “books” to see if you’re lucky enough to be permitted to look at them (I’ve seen the Borbonicus and the Mendoza).

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Yes, of course I’ve heard of the codices; my picture of sacrifice came from one of them. What I meant was that there was no formal scriptures codifying the religion then, and almost all of those codices came from times around the conquest. That means that knowledge of earlier religious rites is spotty at best. That’s exemplified by the Temple of the Sun, which they now think is a Temple of the Water God.

      If there is a formal written Aztec scripture, setting out all of the gods, how they were worshiped, and what they signified, and that tells us something well before “conquest” times, let me know. I’ll be glad to admit that I erred.

      • impulse
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        “a formal written Aztec scripture, setting out all of the gods, how they were worshiped, and what they signified, and that tells us something well before “conquest” times”

        Well, I’m not sure that ONE book exists, indeed. But I’ll look into it and get back to you if I can find something of interest to you. I’ve studied all this some 20 years ago, and I’m afraid I’ve forgotten most of it. I still have a decent collection of books on the subject though.

        • Posted November 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Actually, the Spanish conquistadors performed an Alexandria Library style burning of all the pre-conquest Aztec and Maya codices they could find. Most of the surviving Aztec codices were produced by Nahuatl-speaking scribes in the employ of the Spanish, who ironically, wanted to document the culture that they’d conquered. The Aztecs contributed to their share of the destruction as well – the emporer Itzcoatl about a century before the conquest ordered a massive burning of all earlier Nahuatl codices in order to begin production of a state-sanctioned history more amenable to the Aztec elite.

          • impulse
            Posted November 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            Dermot, no! “Why would an advanced civilisation not (want to) develop a writing system?” Hell, the Aztec had a complex writing system. Most of their “books” were lost, mostly burnt, and what we still have now date from around the hispanic conquest. But please do not judge a civilization from the ashes left behind by the conquerors.

          • impulse
            Posted November 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink


      • Alektorophile
        Posted November 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        You’re right in saying that pretty much all written sources we have for that area of Mexico date to about the time of the Spanish conquest or soon thereafter. We know there must have been hundreds if not thousands of prehispanic codices when Cortez arrived, but the Spanish did a good job of destroying the vast majority.

        Still, we have some pretty good contact-era sources on Aztec gods, religion, and society in particular (less so for other areas of Mesoamerica), for example Sahagun’s Historia General:

        For earlier societies it is a lot harder, particularly for Teotihuacan where the absence of a formal writing system has puzzled generations of archaeologists (other contemporaneous neighbouring cultures had writing, some of it sporadically occurs at Teo, but somehow the most powerful and largest city in Mesoamerica was not keen on adopting or developing a writing system). But even so conquest-era ethnohistorical sources are an invaluable tool that can be used to interpret what is found archaeologically, given a clear element of continuity in rituals, religion, and culture throughout Mesoamerica.

        • Alektorophile
          Posted November 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          And speaking of continuity, it is interesting how post-conquest religious syncretism resulted in some prehispanic rituals surviving in a way to this day, particularly in more remote areas. Mountain or hunting shrines, supernatural forces such as lightning, animal and animal blood sacrifice still play a major part in some rituals. I have even been told of people still witnessing the occasional ritual bloodletting the later 20th Century (self-sacrifice in which an individual would pierce soft body parts to offer his/her own blood, something that has a very long tradition in Mesoamerica).

          • Dermot C
            Posted November 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            This is fascinating, Alektorophile. Why would an advanced civilisation not (want to) develop a writing system? What are the theories?

            If writing exists to transmit ideas across generations or borders, were the Aztecs a particularly oral people or did they have an especially homogenous, shared world-view? Or maybe ideas just weren’t important to them, or maybe even self-evident?

            Or are we importing a Judeo-Christian reverence for the book and the written word into their culture? I see a superficial resemblance between their ritualistic cults and the secret religions of the Greco-Romans, Mithraism, for example. What’s going on?

            • Alektorophile
              Posted November 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

              About Teo not having a writing system, it is indeed peculiar, as we know that there were extensive contacts between the city and other areas of Mesoamerica were writing was widely used (particularly the Maya area and the Zapotec area in modern-day Oaxaca). In fact the only clear writing at Teo occurs in the Zapotec Barrio, a neighbourhood inhabited by ethnic Zapotecs, and the writing is Zapotec. But then Teo is also highly unusual in basically lacking monuments or murals depicting rulers or military leaders, a very common theme elsewhere. Why that should be is a good question, since we know they had rulers and armies.

              One other way to look at it is of course that the assumption that a powerful empire and civilization necessarily needs writing is quite simply wrong, one based on an Old World-centric view. One only has to think of the Inka polity, the largest territorial empire in the Americas, one that like Teo managed to grow and function very successfully without a writing system.

              • Gregory Kusnick
                Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

                Well, the Inka had their knotted-string quipu, which at the very least is a bookkeeping system, and may also encode non-numeric messages (if Wikipedia is to be believed).

              • Alektorophile
                Posted November 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

                True, they and their predecessors had quipus, but still only a mnemonic numerical record-keeping device, not a writing system (while often suggested, there is no evidence for now of quipus recording anything but numbers). I am sure that Teo elites had some way to record numbers and quantities as well, like any other tributary empire you want to keep track of who owes you what and who gave you how many things (for an Aztec written example see, and they might have used perishable materials to do it, but they like the Inka never recorded anything on monuments, murals, art, etc.

          • impulse
            Posted November 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            If you want to get a sense of how the Maya culture (including religion) survived to this day, I recommend to visit Guatemala. That’s definitely not the safest country in the world, but it’s worth the trip. I lived for awhile in a K’iche village, in the western Guatemala highlands. There are many Maya languages and K’iche is one of them. It’s very different from anything I’ve heard anywhere else of this planet. To spend some time with them is a life changing experience, really!

  15. Pray Hard
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    The idea of blood sacrifice is, unfortunately, still alive and well in many of its forms. The cross of Christianity, the every day slaughter and FGM by Muslims, the circumcision by Jews and most of the rest of us, Santeria by Hispanics, etc., ad nauseum. It seems that we just can’t stand it unless we’re making our fellow humans bleed profusely for one insane reason or another. I’ll be glad when it’s all gone.

    • Dermot C
      Posted November 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Except, Pray, that there is a difference between having your God being slaughtered and slaughtering to your Gods. Harris makes a similar point; who can imagine a psychopathic Jain?

  16. marksolock
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

  17. IW
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    “…which had to be propitiated with blood.”

    Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are scarcely less soaked in blood given that they all share the horrific blood sacrfices offered, and bloody wars fought in the name of their barbarian god in the Old Testament!

    The NT is no better given that Christianity was founded upon a blood sacrifice – or so we’re expected to believe.

    • mazhur
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      What reasons do you have to call God a ‘barbarian’?? Just because sufferings of human beings?? Well, in that case, what about the blessings he bestows on them??
      Of course, this is presumed on the logic that if there are sufferings there are blessings too!

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