The world’s oldest person, a French nun, dies at age 118

French nun Sister André, the world’s oldest known person, died on Tuesday at the age of 118 in the southern city of Toulon.

The city’s mayor, Hubert Falco, announced the news of her death on Twitter, writing that “it is with immense sadness and emotion that I learnt tonight of the passing of the world’s oldest person #SisterAndré.”

The nun’s spokesman, David Tavella, said she died on Tuesday at 2 a.m. local time and lived near Toulon. “There is great sadness, but she wanted it to happen, it was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it is freedom,” Tavella said.

Born as Lucile Randon on Feb. 11, 1904, Sister André dedicated most of her life to religious service, according to a statement released by Guinness World Records in April 2022.

Before becoming a Catholic nun, she looked after children during World War II and then spent 28 years caring for orphans and elderly people at a hospital.

She was also the oldest nun to ever live, 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 of her lifetime. There have also been 10 different Popes presiding over the Catholic Church since she was born.

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She became the world’s eldest following 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 Feb. 21, 1875, Jeanne Louise Calment’s life spanned 122 years and 164 days, according to the Guinness statement.

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