118-Year-Old French Nun Is the New Title Holder of “Oldest Living Person”

What would it be like to live through every major world event since the First Industrial Revolution? Imagine living through two world wars. Two global pandemics. Witnessing the inventions of televisions and helicopters, the internet, and the smart phones we hold in our hands today. One woman knows: Lucile Randon, the 118-year-old nun from France known as Sister André.

Randon, who lives in a nursing home in Toulon, is now the world's oldest living person, following the April 19, 2022 death of the former title holder, 119-year-old Kane Tanaka of Japan. Randon was born in Ales, southern France, on February 11, 1904, a decade before World War I began. Though she did not become a Catholic nun until 1944, when she took the name Sister André, she has been serving others her whole life. She's worked as a teacher and governess, and looked after children during WWII. She worked full-time until the late 197os, and spent 28 years working with orphans and elderly people at a hospital in Vichy, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region. Even after having to go into the nursing home, she still helped care for the other, often younger, residents, until she was 100 years of age.

These days, Sister André is no longer able to be the consummate helper, as age has taken its toll on her eyes and she is no longer able to see. She is also in a wheelchair now. Still, it hasn't dampened her independent spirit. Although she says it is awful that she has to depend on others for everything she does now, she still has the goal of outliving the oldest reported person in modern history: another French woman, by the name of Jeanne Calment who reportedly lived to be 122 and died in 1997.

Her days now begin at 7 a.m. with breakfast, then morning mass. In her room she has a single bed, a Virgin Mary Statue, and a radio which she no longer turns on; the outside world is too stressful. However, the outside world has not neglected her. On New Year's she received a handwritten note from President Emmanuel Macron, and many letters and boxes of chocolates from well-wishers and admirers, which she enjoyed with her customary glass of port. Chocolate is a link among the longest living people, as all three women—Calment, Tanaka, and Randon—are said to have had a sweet tooth. They are all quoted as saying chocolate was important to their lives, as well as people. Sister André has said, “Find great love and don't compromise on your needs.” Friends, chocolate, and port. Does it get any better than that?

And, while she is “proud” to be the world's oldest person, she denies requests for locks of hair or DNA samples by those who would search for the secret to her longevity, saying with a smile, “Only the good Lord knows.”

Lucile Randon, a French Catholic nun also known as Sister André, is now the world's oldest living person at 118 years old.

Here is Sister André's official recognition on the Guinness World Records:

h/t: [LADbible]

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