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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, June 29, 2001: Mata Amritanandamayi has changed a lot of people's lives for the better, but her greatest miracle in America may have been melting the hearts of one mainstream journalist after another across the country. Reverential articles have appeared about her in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. These are among the nation's most prestigious newspapers. Their take on Hindu religious figures is, shall we say, sometimes less than laudatory. This latest article, in Chicago's equally prestigious Sun Times, by Cathleen Falsani, announces Mataji's upcoming visit to the city. "Next week, just in time for Fourth of July celebrations, a middle-age woman from India will come to town with the sole purpose of giving away free hugs. Hugs and pats on the back and kisses on the head and chucks on the chin. For free. No strings attached. And nothing creepy. Her name is Mata Amritanandamayi, but most people call her Amma, Ammachi, or simply, Mother. She's a 47-year-old Hindu holy woman from the Kerala state in India who, for the last dozen years or so, has been coming to the United States each summer to hug people. Many who have been held in her arms say it's a healing embrace. Sometimes the healing is physical, they say. More often, it's emotional and spiritual."