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Raja Ravi Varma Painting of Imprisoned lady holding a dagger

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Freedom fighter : Nivedita

At a time when this land of ours was beset with troubles, quite a number of people of the west came of their own free will to help us. One of these was Miss Margaret Nobel, popularly known as Nivedita, who came to India from Ireland.

In those days Ireland, like India, was a country fighting for her freedom. John Noble was the priest of an Irish Church. Nearer to his heart than all else were his God and his motherland. His son Samuel Nobel, who was also a priest, married a lovely young lady, Mary Hamilton. It was of these parents that Margaret, who later became Nivedita, was born on October 28, 1867.

From her grandfather Margaret inherited measureless courage and boundless patriotism, while from her father she inherited tremendous compassion for the poor. And from her mother she inherited not only her great beauty but her tenderness and sympathy.

Margaret often went with her grand father and her father to the homes and novels of the poor and joined them in rendering service to them. Thus, even from her earliest years, service became her constant companion.

One day a certain friend of Margaret’s father paid a visit to the family. He, too, was a preacher and had returned home after having served in India as a priest. He felt drawn to little Margaret whose mind was as keen as her figure was beautiful. When he said good-bye, he told his little friend, "India, my little one, is seeking her destiny. She called me once, and will perhaps call you, too, some day. Always be ready for her call." These stirring words thrilled the little girl’s heart and lighted up her eyes.

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