Sister André, a French nun born Lucile Randon, grew up in a Protestant family until she converted to Catholicism in 1923 at the age of 19. Sister André lived in France throughout her 118 years of life, having been born in Alès, France, on February 11, 1904, and died at Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home in Toulon, France, on January 17, 2023. She was 118 years and 340 days old. She held the record for both the oldest living person and oldest living nun, according to Guinness World Records, along with holding the record for oldest COVID-19 survivor.
She lived through 18 different French presidents, the adaptation of electric lights being utilized in her school, and both World Wars. Sister André also lived through both the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Spanish Flu of 1918.
Sister André spent her younger years working as a teacher before World War II. Throughout the second World War, she looked after young children. She then transitioned into working in a hospital, where she spent 28 years assisting orphans and elderly people before deciding to become a nun.
Despite COVID-19’s likelihood of being more dangerous for elderly people, Sister André was, fortunately, able to beat COVID-19 after testing positive a month before her 117th birthday, and would then go on live for almost two more years.
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, honored Sister André, saying, “This altruistic personality whom the French considered as a reference, a source of pride and attachment.”