French nun, world's oldest person, passes away after 118 years

AFP - NICOLAS TUCAT

Lucile Randon was born in southern France on 11 February 1904, a decade before the outbreak of the First World War. She died peacefully in her sleep earlier this week.

Sister André was long recognised as the oldest European, before the death of Japan's Kane Tanaka last year at the age of 119 left the French nun the oldest surviving person on Earth.

The Guinness World Records organisation officially acknowledged her status in April 2022.

Lucile Randon was born in 1904, the year New York opened its first subway and when the Tour de France cycle race had been staged only once.

She grew up in a Protestant family in the southern town of Ales.

Both of her brothers fought in World War I, and both survived.

A convert to Catholicism

She worked as a governess in Paris -- a period she once called the happiest time of her life -- for the children of wealthy families.

She converted to Catholicism and was baptised at the age of 26.

Driven by a desire to "go further", she joined the Daughters of Charity order of nuns at the relatively late age of 41.

Sister André was then assigned to a hospital in Vichy, where she worked for 31 years.

In later life she moved to Toulon on the Mediterranean coast.

She ended her days in a local nursing home.

'Work kept me alive'

Randon told reporters last year that her work and caring for others had kept her spry.


Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Podcast: Revisiting dying with dignity, baking Christmas in August
France's oldest man, Jules Theobald, dies at 112
Half a million elderly people live in isolation in France - report