PARIS (Reuters) – Europe’s oldest person, French nun Sister Andre, celebrated her 117th birthday with a cake and prayer on Thursday after ignoring the coronavirus a few weeks earlier. Sister Andre, who lived with the Spanish flu more than a century ago, said the day had brought her immense joy. “I met everyone I loved and thanked God for giving them to me,” said Lucile Randon, who took the name Sister Andre when she joined a Catholic charitable order in 1944. After Mass in the private chapel of her nursing home Sister Andre sat serenely in her wheelchair, her hands clasped tightly, as she received a blessing from the Bishop of Toulon. The COVID-19 restrictions meant the family couldn’t visit the blind but energetic nun. The office of President Emmanuel Macron was among those who called and wished him well. Born on February 11, 1904, Sister Andre has witnessed two global pandemics. She was a young teenager when the Spanish flu hit her, infecting roughly a third of the world’s population between 1918 and 1920. Her brother died, one of at least 50 million lives lost during that pandemic, but she escaped the infection. . Sister Andre tested positive for coronavirus on January 16, but showed no symptoms. “No, I was not afraid because I was not afraid of dying … I am happy to be with you, but I would like to be in another place, join my older brother, my grandfather and my grandmother,” he said. told BFM TV earlier this week. Sister Andre is the second oldest living person in the world according to the Gerontology Research Group. The oldest is Japanese Kane Tanaka, 118 years old.
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