French nun Sister André, the world’s oldest known person, died on Tuesday aged 118 in the southern city of Toulon.
The city’s mayor, Hubert Falco, announced the news of his death on Twitter, writing that “it is with immense sadness and emotion that I learned tonight of the death of the oldest person in the world # Sister André”.
The nun’s spokesman, David Tavella, said she died at 2 a.m. local time on Tuesday and lived near Toulon. “There is great sadness, but she wanted it to happen, it was her wish to join her beloved brother. For her, it is freedom”, said Tavella.
Born Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904, Sister André devoted most of her life to religious service, according to a statement published by Guinness in April 2022.
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.
She was also the oldest nun who ever lived, according to Guinness.
When she turned 118 in 2022, the nun received a handwritten birthday note from French President Emmanuel Macron, the 18th French president in her lifetime. There have also been 10 different popes presiding over the Catholic Church since it was born.
She became the world’s oldest after the death of Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman previously certified as the world’s oldest person, who died at the age of 119 on April 19.
The title of the oldest person ever recorded also belongs to a French woman. Born on February 21, 1875, the life of Jeanne Louise Calment lasted 122 years and 164 days, according to the Guinness World Records statement.