Sister André was born Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904 and has devoted most of her life to religious service, the statement said. Before becoming a Catholic nun, she cared for children during World War II and 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 world’s oldest Covid-19 survivor. The Guinness World Records statement said she tested positive for the virus in early 2021, but fully recovered within three weeks, just in time for her 117th birthday.
In an interview with French TV channel RMC Story on Tuesday, Sister André appeared to have mixed feelings about becoming the new oldest living person.
“I feel like I want better in heaven, but the good Lord does not want me yet,” she said, calling the title a “sad honor.”
However, she also expressed her joy at being “pampered” by her family.
Sister André enjoys chocolate and wine – and drinks a glass every day – her nursing 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 of her lifetime – according to a tweet from the nursing home. There have also been 10 different popes presiding over the Catholic Church since she was born.
The title of the oldest person ever registered also belongs to a French woman. Born on February 21, 1875, Jeanne Louise Calment’s life spanned 122 years and 164 days, according to the Guinness World Records statement.