Lucile Randon, the world's oldest person passes away at 118
French nun Lucile Randon who was known as the oldest person in the world passed away on Tuesday at the age of 118. Randon died in her sleep at the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home in Toulon, France. "There is great sadness, but she wanted it to happen, it was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it's freedom," Randon's spokesman, David Tavella said.
The news of her death was shared by Toulon Mayor
The news of her demise was announced by Toulon Mayor Hubert Falco on Twitter. "It is with immense sadness and emotion that I learned tonight of the passing of the world's oldest person #SisterAndre," he wrote. Also called Sister Andre, Randon was the oldest European before the death of Kane Tanaka from Japan who passed away at the age of 119 last year.
Here's what Falco posted on Twitter
Randon was officially acknowledged by Guinness World Records in 2022
Randon's status was officially acknowledged by Guinness World Records in April 2022. The sister was born in the French town of Ales in 1904, the year when New York opened its first subway! The only girl among four siblings, Randon grew up in a protestant family. In her younger years, she worked as a teacher and a governess in Paris for wealthy families' children.
Randon became a nun at the age of 26
Randon survived two World Wars and the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. At the age of 19, she converted to Catholicism and got baptized at 26. She then became a nun. At the age of 41, Randon joined the Daughters of Charity order of nuns and was later assigned to a hospital in Vichi where she worked for around 28 years.
Sister Andre survived COVID-19 in 2021
Her days in the nursing home were all about mealtimes, prayer, and visits from residents and hospice workers. In 2020, she told French radio that she had no idea how she lived so long. "I have no idea what the secret is," she had said. In 2021, she survived COVID-19 which infected 81 residents at the nursing home and killed 10.
Her work and care for others kept Randon alive
Last year, Randon told reporters that her work and caring nature for others kept her active and lively. "People say that work kills, for me work kept me alive, I kept working until I was 108," she had said. In spite of being blind and in a wheelchair, Randon used to look after elderly people who were much younger than her.
Sister Andre witnessed the service of over 20 presidents
Born on February 11, 1904, she was only a month away from turning 119. Sister Andre had witnessed four changes in France's constitution and the service of over 20 presidents! She once shared a beautiful memory of her two brothers after World War I, with AFP, "It was rare, in families, there were usually two dead rather than two alive. They both came back."