Sister André, a French nun who was ordained a priest in 1944, died in her retirement home in Toulon.
Jan 18, 2023 8:21 am
(updated at 12:01 p.m.)
Sister André died at the age of 118 in her nursing home in Toulon
Photo: Getty Images / BBC News Brazil
The world’s oldest person, French nun Lucile Randon, has died aged 118. With his death, the oldest person in the world is now 115 years old: María Branyas, who lives in Spain.
Born in Mexico in March 1907, two years later she moved to San Francisco, USA, and arrived in the Catalan province of Girona with her father, a Spanish journalist, during the First World War. She has three children (one of whom recently turned 86), 11 grandchildren (the eldest is 60) and 13 greatgrandchildren.
She has been living in a nursing home in the city of Olot for two decades.
In May 2020, before there was a coronavirus vaccine, she had Covid disease but recovered. She was 113 years old at the time.
The oldest old woman in Spain, aged 113, overcomes COVID19.
Catalan María Branyas is from now on also the person of older age in overcoming the coronavirus, having done so at her residence in Olot, Girona. https://t.co/6bDcty9sYJ #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/pubB2FTmu3
— La Vanguardia (@LaVanguardia) May 12, 2020
French Lucile Randon, whose death was announced on Tuesday (17 January), is also a Covid survivor.
According to the Gerontology Research Group, a Los Angelesbased research group that surveys the world’s oldest people, Lucile Randon is the third longestlived person in recorded history.
She died at the age of 118 25 days before her 119th birthday.
The Japanese Kane Tanaka, who died last year, was 119 years old. The oldest person on record, according to the Gerontology Research Group, is Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.
Two world wars and 27 heads of state
Randon who took the name Sister André when she was ordained in 1944 died in her sleep in a nursing home in Toulon, France.
Born in the south of the country in 1904, she survived two world wars and devoted most of her life to Catholicism.
When asked what the secret of her longevity was, she replied: “Only God knows.”
Throughout her life, Sister André has lived under 27 different French heads of state.
A spokesman for the nursing home broke the news of the nun’s death to reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s an enormous sadness, but … it was her desire to join her beloved brother. It’s a liberation for them,” the spokeswoman said.
Sister André claimed to be very close to her brothers. She said that one of the best memories of her life was when they returned alive from World War I, where they had fought.
“That was rare. In families, there were usually two dead instead of two alive,” she told reporters.
Blind and in a wheelchair, Sister André cared for other elderly people some of them much younger than her.
In an interview with the AFP news agency in April 2022, she said: “People say work kills, for me work keeps me alive. I worked until I was 108 years old.”
In the same interview, she said that she would be better off in heaven but that she enjoys earthly pleasures like eating chocolate and drinking a glass of wine every day.
Sister André had been the oldest person in Europe for several years. In April, following the death of Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who lived to be 119, she entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest person.
She had previously appeared in Guinness World Records. In 2021, just before her 117th birthday, she became the oldest person in the world to have recovered from Covid19.
Sister André was born into a Protestant family but converted to Catholicism and was baptized at the age of 26.
About 15 years after her decision to become Catholic, she joined an order of nuns known as the Daughters of Charity.
She worked in a hospital in Vichy, where she spent most of her professional life 31 years.
In one of her recent interviews, she said: “People should help each other and love each other instead of hating each other. If we shared all that, a lot would be better.”
This text was published at https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/internacional64315969
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