Hugging Saint Draws Thousands in Coralville

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By Aaron Hepker

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Hundreds of people came to Coralville to see the Indian spiritual leader known as the "Hugging Saint," and to get a hug.

The woman known as Amma visited the Coralville Marriott and Convention Center Sunday to lead them in meditation and to share her message of love and service to humanity. It was the 57-year-old woman's fourth visit to the area in five years.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says Amma has blessed and consoled more than 30 million people worldwide over the past 35 years and has founded numerous charities.

Followers say getting a hug from Amma is warm and blissful. Some say it's indescribable.

She spreads her message by hugging the sometimes thousands of people who show up to see her in a single day.

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