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Sister Andre, a French Nun, World’s Oldest person dies at 118

by Clyde Ericson Nolasco

Sister Andre Randon lived more than a century!

She lived through no less than 10 popes: from Pope Pius X to Pope Francis. She survived not one but two world wars. And she even became the oldest survivor of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sr. Andre passed away in the morning of January 18, 2023. She was 118 years old.

In an interview with AFP, David Tavella of Sainte-Catherine-Labourne nursing home said, “There is great sadness but it was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it’s a liberation.”

Sr. Andre: “Pray and drink a cup of chocolate every day.”| Photo from AFP

A Convert

Sr. Andre was born Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904 in Alés, France. She was born to a poor Protestant family with a paternal grandfather who was a very strict pastor.

But she converted to Catholicism at the age of 19. She cared for the young children and the elderly for 28 years at a French hospital until she decided to enter the convent.

A Missionary Nun

Heeding God's call late in life, she joined the Daughters of Charity in 1944 at the age of 40. She took the name Sister Andre in honor of her deceased brother.

Daughters of Charity is a community of women devoted to the service of the poor and the abandoned. It was founded by St. Vincent de Paul in 1633.

After World War II, she served orphans and elders in a mission hospital in Vichy for 18 years. She also served in a hospital in La Baume-d'Hostun, Drôme.

A Covid-19 Survivor

In 1979, Sr Andre retired from full-time work but continued to take care of the elderly until she reached 105 years old!!

On October 25, 2009, she moved to a retirement home where she eventually became blind and dependent on a wheelchair.

Pope Francis sent Sr. Andre a letter and a rosary on her 115th birthday.

In 2021, when she was 116 years old, Sr. Andre made headlines for being the oldest survivor of Covid-19 pandemic. She was isolated but blessed not to have severe symptoms.

Her Secret to Longevity

When asked her secret to long life and happiness, Sr. Andre candidly answered, “Pray and drink a cup of chocolate every day.”

She also added, “Daily happiness is being able to go and pray.”

Sr. Andre lived a long and fruitful life. She lived as a religious nun for almost 79 years. More than living a long life, she lived as a faithful one.

Truly, no one’s too old to answer God's calling!

Sr. Andre was recognized by Guinness World Records as Oldest Person in the World

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