Sister André, the world’s oldest known French nun, died on Tuesday in the southern city of Toulon at the age of 118.
The city’s mayor, Hubert Falco, announced her passing on Twitter, writing: “It is with great sadness and excitement that I learn tonight of the world’s oldest person# News of the death of Sister André.”
The nun’s spokesman, David Tavira, said she died at 2 a.m. local time on Tuesday and lived near Toulon. “There is great sadness, but she wants it to happen, it is her desire to be reunited with her beloved brother. For her, that is freedom,” Tavira said.
Born Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904, Sister Andrea devoted much of her life to religious service, according to a statement released by Guinness in April 2022.
She cared for children during World War II and then spent 28 years caring for orphans and the elderly in hospitals before becoming a Catholic nun.
She is also the oldest nun ever, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
When she turns 118 in 2022, the nun received a birthday card handwritten by French President Emmanuel Macron, the 18th French president in her lifetime. Since her birth, 10 different popes have presided over the Catholic Church.
She became the world’s oldest person, previously certified as the world’s oldest Japanese woman Yoshio Tanaka died on April 19 at the age of 119.
The title of the oldest person ever lived also belongs to a French woman. Born on February 21, 1875, Jeanne Louise Calment lived 122 years and 164 days, according to Guinness World Records.