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World’s oldest known person, French nun, dies at 118

The world’s oldest known person, French nun Lucile Randon, has died aged 118, a spokesperson has said.

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Randon, known as Sister André, was born in southern France on 11 February 1904, when the first world war was still a decade away, reports

She died in her sleep at her nursing home in Toulon, spokesperson David Tavella said on Tuesday.

“There is great sadness but … it was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it’s a liberation,” Tavella, of the Sainte-Catherine-Labouré nursing home, told AFP.

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The sister was long feted as the oldest European, before the death of Japan’s Kane Tanaka aged 119 last year left her the longest-lived person on Earth.

Randon was born in the year New York opened its first subway and when the Tour de France had only been staged once.

She worked as a governess and tutor before entering a convent in 1944, aged 40. She had been in nursing homes since 1979 and in the Toulon home since 2009.

In 2021, she survived a bout of Covid-19 after the virus swept through the nursing home where she lived, killing 10 other residents.

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At the time, she told Var-Matin newspaper: “I didn’t even realise I had it.”

Tavella told the newspaper that the nun had shown no fear of the virus.

“She didn’t ask me about her health but about her routine. She wanted to know for example if the meal and bed times were going to change. She showed no fear of the illness, in fact she was more worried about the other residents,” Tavella said.

Asked if she was scared to have Covid, the nun told France’s BFM television: “No, I wasn’t scared because I wasn’t scared to die … I’m happy to be with you, but I would wish to be somewhere else – join my big brother and my grandfather and my grandmother.”

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.