World’s oldest person, French nun Sister André, dies at 118

As the world’s oldest living person, French nun Lucile Randon survived two world wars — and several pandemics. She died at 118.


Also known as Sister André — and as the oldest nun alive and oldest covid-19 survivor, according to Guinness World Records — she passed away on Tuesday, just weeks before her 119th birthday, a spokesman for the nursing home where she spent her final years told the Associated Press.


“There’s a great sadness but … it was her desire to join her beloved brother,” said spokesman David Tavella, according to the AFP news agency. “For her, it’s a liberation.”


Born on February 11, 1904, Sister André lived through both the 1918-19 influenza and the coronavirus pandemics.


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She told French media in 2021 that her covid-19 symptoms were so mild she did not even know she had been infected.


As a young woman, Sister André worked as a teacher and governess before becoming a Catholic nun in 1944, Guinness said following her death. She also spent almost three decades working at a hospital with orphans and elderly people in France.


She lost her sight in her later years but continued to enjoy chocolate and a daily glass of wine.


She was officially recognized as the oldest living person in April last year, following the death of 119-year-old Japanese woman Kane Tanaka.


“They say work kills, but it’s work that made me live,” she said after receiving the title, according to French media. “I worked until I was 108.”


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Her successor to the title of world’s oldest person has not been officially announced, but according to the Gerontology Research Group’s World Supercentenarian Rankings List, the new record holder appears to be María Branyas Morera, a 115-year-old Spanish woman born in the United States.


She is one of only two people alive known to have celebrated their 115th birthday: The other, Fusa Tatsumi, lives in Osaka, Japan, and is 52 days her junior.


The record for the oldest person ever was held by Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who was 122 years and 164 days old when she died in 1997.



(Washington Post)


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