Sister André, the oldest known person in the world, dies at the age of 118

The world’s oldest known person, French nun Sister André, has died aged 118, her spokesman confirmed to AFP on Tuesday.

Sister André, whose real name is Lucile Randon, died in her sleep in Toulon, France, according to David Tavella of the Sainte-Catherine Laboure nursing home.

“There is great sadness, but … it was her desire to join her beloved brother,” Tavella told AFP. “It’s a liberation for them.”

Sister André, born February 11, 1904, was believed to be the world’s oldest living person, according to Guinness World Records, which recognized her status in April 2022 following the death of 119-year-old Kane Tanaka of Japan.

Sister André dies at the age of 118
Sister Andre poses for a portrait at the Sainte-Catherine Labore nursing home in Toulon, France, on April 27, 2022.

Daniel Cole/AP

The organization that keeps records also announced the news and said it was “sad” to hear of the nun’s death.

“How incredible that we shared the same air as someone born just a few months after the Wright brothers made their first powered flight — and a few months before the New York City subway system opened,” said Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief for Guinness World Records, in a statement.

Glenday added that Sister André was the “fourth oldest person ever authenticated by Guinness”.

Sister André held records for the “oldest living nun” and the “oldest COVID-19 survivor”, as well as the second-oldest French and second-oldest European ever recorded, according to Guinness. She was just three years away from equaling the record for oldest person ever held by Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122, Guinness said.

Hubert Franco, Mayor of Toulon, in addition confirmed Sister André’s death in a statement detailing his regular visits to her. Franco said Sister André was made an honorary citizen of Toulon four years ago and has been at the Sainte-Catherine Laboure care home since 2009.

Before devoting much of her life to her worship, Sister André spent nearly three decades working with orphans and the elderly, Guinness said. She also lived through the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Sister André’s life spanned 18 French presidencies and 10 different popes. Sister André, the oldest known person in the world, dies at the age of 118

Rick Schindler

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