French Catholic nun turns 118, making her the second oldest person in the world

Francesca Pollio   By Francesca Pollio for CNA


Sister André Randon / Vatican News

Toulon, France, Feb 11, 2022 / 13:45 pm (CNA).

Sister Andre Randon, a French nun, celebrated her 118th birthday on Feb. 11. This milestone makes her the second-oldest living person in the world and the oldest living person in Europe, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which validates details of people believed to be 110 or older.

In anticipation of the big day, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, sent the beloved nun a greeting.

Born Lucile Randon on Feb. 11, 1904, in Alés, France, she converted to Catholicism at 19-years-old from Protestantism. She served young children and the elderly at a French hospital until she became a nun at the age of 40. She joined the Daughters of Charity — founded by St. Vincent de Paul, in 1944. She took the name Sister Andre in honor of her deceased brother.

Seventy-six years later, Sister Andre moved to Toulon, in southern France, where she now resides in the Sainte Catherine Labouré retirement home. It was there that she tested positive for COVID-19 in 2021. She was isolated from the other residents, but displayed no symptoms.

Asked if she was scared of COVID, Sister Andre told France’s BFM television, “No, I wasn’t scared because I wasn’t scared to die … I’m happy to be with you, but I would wish to be somewhere else  — join my big brother and my grandfather and my grandmother.”

Upon her 115th birthday in 2019, Sister Andre received a card and a blessed rosary from Pope Francis, which she uses every day.

When she turned 116 in 2020, the Vincentian nun shared her “recipe for a happy life” —  prayer and a cup of hot cocoa every day.

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