Amma, an Indian woman called the “hugging saint” for her method of blessing via embrace, came to the Seattle area with an entourage of devotees this weekend for the start of her 25th North American tour. I was able to ask her a few questions through a translator, as she sat in the Hyatt Regency…

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend — prayers and picnics alike. Here’s my top five list interesting faith-related news from the past few weeks worth keeping an eye on: Battle over circumcision is shaping up in California (JTA) Bishop Eddie Long settles with accusers of sexual misconduct (Religion & Ethics Newsweekly) Crystal Cathedral…

Mixed news for Christian noggins this week: The skull of St. Vitalis of Assisi, a 14th Century Benedictine monk who led an “immoral and licentious youth” before becoming the saint to pray with to be healed from bladder or venereal disease, is expected to fetch around $1,500. Severed head of patron saint of genital disease on sale…

I’m meeting Mata Amritanandamayi — aka Amma, “the hugging saint” — at the start of her new U.S. tour tomorrow. (It’s nice when national religion news comes to the Seattle area!) Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today wrote about her during a 2006 tour stop, explaining that she was born to a traditional Hindu family in…

Nicole Neroulias
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Nicole Neroulias

Nicole Neroulias is a correspondent for Religion News Service, a secular news and photo service devoted to unbiased coverage of religion and ethics. A graduate of Cornell University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she has previously written for The New York Times and other media outlets. She and her family live in Seattle.

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