French Nun Lives Through COVID & 1918 Influenza

Sis. André at her nursing home Source: New York Times

Europe’s oldest person, Sister André, at 117 years of age is believed to be the second oldest person in the world. Born to Lucile Randon in 1904, Sis. Andre took her ecclesiastical title in 1944 when she joined a Catholic charitable order.

Despite being prioritized for vaccination by the French government due to her age, Sis. Andre told her colleagues, “I’m not afraid of Covid because I’m not afraid of dying, so give my vaccine doses to those who need them.”

Her moving resolve and commitment to help others has served as an inspiration for French healthcare workers who in the past 3 months have begun implementing vaccine rollouts. Coming at a time when many seniors were dying disportionately in nursing homes, Sis. Andre’s story has not just inspired France, but reminded all of us of the power of faith to make us resilient in the face of adversity.

Sister André’s story has made headlines in France, providing some uplifting news in a country where thousands of nursing home residents have died.

Wheelchair bound and now blind, Sis. Andre admits that during the pandemic at times she has felt lonely and dependent.  However, when put in perspective having seen millions die during the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic and witnessing two world wars, Sis. Andre’s perspective has helped her bear the ordeal with dignity and grace.

Source: New York Times