Sister André, a French nun, was the oldest known person in the world. She died at the age of 118. Her spokesman told AFP on Tuesday.
David Tavella from the Sainte-Catherine Laboure nursing home said that Sister André, whose real name was Lucile Randon, died in her sleep in Toulon, France.
“There is great sadness, but…it was her desire to join her beloved brother,” Tavella told AFP. “For her, it’s a liberation.”
Sister André, who was born on February 11, 1904, was thought to be the oldest living person in the world. Guinness World Records confirmed this in April 2022, after Kane Tanaka of Japan, who was 119 years old, died.
The news was also shared by the group that keeps records, which said it was “saddened” to hear about the nun’s death.
“How incredible that we shared the same air as someone who was born just a couple of months after the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight – and a few months before the New York subway system opened,” said Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief for Guinness World Records, in a statement.
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Glenday also said that Sister André was the “fourth oldest person ever authenticated” by Guinness.
Sister André was the oldest living nun and the oldest COVID-19 survivor, according to Guinness. She was also the second-oldest person from France and the second-oldest person from Europe. She was only three years away from beating Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived to be 122 and holds the record for being the oldest person ever.
In a statement, Hubert Franco, the mayor of Toulon, also said that Sister André had died. He talked about how often he went to see her. Franco said that Toulon made Sister André an honorary citizen four years ago and that she had been living at the Sainte-Catherine Laboure nursing home since 2009.
𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗱𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗿𝗲 𝗗𝗼𝘆𝗲𝗻𝗻𝗲 𝗱𝗲 𝗹'𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲́, 𝗦𝗼𝗲𝘂𝗿 𝗔𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗲́
— Hubert Falco (@hubertfalco) January 17, 2023
Guinness said that Sister André worked with orphans and the elderly for almost 30 years before she became a religious leader. She also lived through the 1918 pandemic of the Spanish flu.
Sister André lived through 18 presidents of France and 10 Popes.
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