The oldest person in the world, French nun Lucile Randon, has died at the age of 118.
According to international media reports, Randon, who took the name of Sister Andre when she became a nun in 1944, died in her sleep on Tuesday at the nursing home where she lived.
“There is great sadness but … it was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it’s a liberation,” spokesperson David Tavella, of the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home in the southern French town of Toulon, told reporters.
Randon was born on February 11, 1904, and was the world’s oldest living person according to the Gerontology Research Group’s (GRG) World Supercentenarian Rankings List.
Long recognised as the oldest person in Europe, she became the world’s oldest following the death of Japan’s Kane Tanaka at 119 last year. Guinness World Records officially acknowledged her status in April 2022.
Randon was born in the year New York opened its first subway, and World War I was still a decade away.
She grew up in a Protestant family as the only girl among three brothers, living in the southern town of Ales, France.
One of her fondest memories was the return of two of her brothers at the end of the war in 1918, she told in an interview on her 116th birthday.
“It was rare, in families, there were usually two dead rather than two alive. They both came back,” she said.