Born as Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904, Sister André devoted most of her life to religious service, the statement said. Before becoming a Catholic nun, she cared for children during World War II, then spent 28 years caring for orphans and the elderly in a hospital.
Sister André, who lives near the French city of Toulon, is also the oldest Covid-19 survivor in the world. The Guinness World Records statement said she tested positive for the virus in early 2021, but made a full recovery within three weeks, just in time for her 117th birthday.
In an interview with French TV channel RMC Story on Tuesday, Sister André seemed to have mixed feelings about becoming the new oldest person.
“I feel like I’d be better off in heaven, but the good Lord doesn’t want me yet,” she said, calling the title a “sad honour.”
However, she also expressed her joy at being “pampered” by her family.
Sister André loves chocolate and wine — and drinks a drink every day — at her retirement home, Résidence Catherine Labouré, confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.
When she turned 118 earlier this year, the elderly nun received a handwritten birthday note from French President Emmanuel Macron – the 18th French president in her lifetime – according to a tweet from the retirement home. There have also been 10 different popes who have presided over the Catholic Church since its birth.
The title of oldest person on record also belongs to a French woman. Born on February 21, 1875, Jeanne Louise Calment’s life spanned 122 years and 164 days, according to Guinness World Records.