118 Year Old Nun


Nicholas Tocat

Sister Andre is participating in her daily prayers at age 118 year old. Andre claims that her secret to this old age is “A little bit of chocolate and wine each day!”

A day the world was changed forever, January 17th, 2023. On this day, Sister Andre, a previous record holder for the oldest person in the world, died in France at the remarkable age of 118 years old. Sister Andre passed away of old age.

Did you know that Sister Andre’s name was actually chosen later in her life? Before the change, she went by her birth name, Lucille Randon. In 1944, Lucille took a vow to become a catholic nun, which led to her name switching to “Sister Andre.” Throughout Andre’s life, she lived through 2 world wars, the 1918 flu pandemic, and was diagnosed and survived Covid in 2021! In fact, Sister Andre made this Guinness World Record Book for the oldest person in the world to survive a diagnosis with the Covid-19 virus at 116 years old!

Have you ever heard of the word thanatophobia? It is defined as a level of anxiety that comes with the thought of death. A debate has continued for centuries: Is there life after death? For Catholics, death is perceived as a change rather than an ending in the sense that one will reunite with their loved ones and have eternal life with God. As thought by Sister Andre, death does not need to come with a negative connotation.

It is fascinating how Sister Andre did not have a fear of death but rather an awaiting for it. Sister claimed how she felt that “Heaven would be a sense of pure freedom for [her] due to the fact that death fulfilled [her] desire to join her beloved brother.”

Sister Andres’ spiritual life began in the middle of her 20’s. Sister Andre was born on February 11, 1904. She originally grew up in a Protestant family before being baptized into the Catholic Church at the age of 26. She joined her first charitable order around age 46, in which she was assigned to serve at a hospital in Vichy, France for 30 years. At this hospital she demonstrated her charitable work by caring for orphan children and other young adults in need.

In 2019, Sister became an honorary member of France and even received a letter and a rosary blessed by Pope Francis. To further put into perspective how old Sister Andre was, she lived through 18 French presidents and 10 popes! According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Sister Andre is known to be the fourth oldest person ever recorded!

By her peers, Sister Andre was known to be a kind-hearted jokester. After an interview conducted with Cathedral Catholic Junior Analese Motto, Motto claims how she feels “inspired by Sister Andre because [she] wants to share [her] love for faith with her friends just like Sister did. As a member of the El Cid Spiritual team, Motto believes how the “Journalism program is a step in the right direction to achieve this goal as it gives [her] the opportunity to express not only love for faith but catholic news to students, families and members of the Cathedral Catholic community as well!”

After an interview conducted with Sister Andre on her 117 birthday, she claimed how her secret to her long life was “having a little bit of wine and chocolate every day!” After Sisters jokes and conversations with a variety of journalists, she explained how her “real” secret to longevity can be supported by her working everyday. Sisters admirable work ethic continued throughout 93.22% of her life until the remarkable age of 108!

In Sister Andre’s final years, she reported a sense of loneliness that came with aging, especially regarding her handicap as she was put into a wheelchair in 2009 and could no longer see in her final years. In these years, Sister Andre explained how she felt like she would be “better off” in Heaven but understood that it was not her time yet as she claimed how “God still had a plan for [her] in this lifetime.”

Motto claims how she “admires Sister Andre’s intentions, which were illustrated through the positivity Andre found through the thought of death.” Motto strives to have that courage that Andre had regarding death at some point in her lifetime.

Sister Andre died an extremely peaceful death in her French nursing home on January 17th, 2023. Andre passed away in her sleep with excitement to reunite with her loved ones in Heaven. Motto claims how the long life of Sister Andre “inspires [her] to continue to grow in [her] faith no matter [her] age.”

Though death is not an easy concept to grasp, it is important to note the importance of leaving behind a good image on earth. Motto describes how “[she] wants to live a life of prayer that not only inspires [herself] but others, just like Sister Andres’ ministry did for a multitude of people.

Sister Andre is a role model of faith because of her true dedication to God and willingness to dedicate her life to him. The story of Sister Andre’s Ministry truly makes you think about the image that you are leaving on earth through the places you go, people you meet, and most importantly, the person that you make yourself out to be