116-year-old nun survives COVID and says she ‘wasn’t scared to die’
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February 10, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) -- On Thursday, Sister André will celebrate her 117th birthday with a special Mass for her intention, a slap-up dinner that includes port wine, foie gras, capon with porcini mushrooms and baked Alaska, and a video meeting with her many great-nephews and great-nieces.
The oldest European alive -- born in 1904 in Alès, in the south of France – would have been in the “feel-good” section of news shows on the national media no matter what, particularly because she’s coherent and expresses herself wittily and well. But this birthday is a special one: Sister André just recovered from COVID-19.
Even more surprisingly as far as the secular media are concerned, she was not scared in the least by the Wuhan virus. She told BFM, a national TV station, that she was “not afraid of dying.”
“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,” she told the journalist from BFM.
In a few words, she put COVID-19 into perspective: Yes, it’s an illness that can hit the elderly in a very serious way, but there is a life after this life and their true hope and port of arrival is in eternity. Her serenity was underscored by videos buzzing on social media that show her, hands folded, in prayer, whether she is outside in the garden of her rest home for the dependent elderly, enjoying the clement weather in Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, or inside, where she is obviously the favorite inhabitant.
Sister André told another journalist that during her confinement she “prayed for the young people and remained patient.” “That’s her big message: patience,” added David Tavella, spokesman for the Saint Catherine Labouré “EHPAD” (Hospital home for the dependent elderly).
But Sister André interrupted and said, “To be honest, patience has its limits; it’s not fun being alone in your room.”
She still prays for the young that they may have courage. “Let them keep hope, fight, struggle to heal and set an example,” she told one journalist.
In France, 91 percent of people who died of COVID were older than 65, and old and frail or suffering from a serious chronic disease. But the media scare is all about “cases” -- people who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 (and who actually present little risk of dying).
“She showed no fear at all of the illness,” Tavella confirmed.
Tavella was the one who told Sister André that her COVID test was positive. He explained to the press that he was “really worried,” but his concern never rubbed off on the frail, blind nun. However, he added, “she expressed great anxiety about the other residents.”
Sister André, formerly Lucile Randon, was born into a non-practicing Protestant family. She lived through two World Wars, the Spanish Flu epidemic (240,000 victims of all ages in France alone, compared with less than 80,000 victims attributed to COVID in a country that has 67 million inhabitants today against less than 39 million in 1919).
She was baptized into the Catholic Church at age 26 and worked as a governess and private schoolmistress in wealthy Parisian families, including the overtly Catholic Peugeot family. At the end of the Second World War, at age 41, she decided she wanted to “push farther” and entered the congregation of the “Daughters of Charity” of St. Vincent de Paul. She worked in hospitals for more than 30 years and retired to a rest home at the foot of the Alps at the end of the 1970s, where she stayed for 30 years before moving to Toulon, in the “EHPAD” where some 10 other Daughters of Charity also live.
Sister André can hardly believe that she had COVID-19. She insists that she never felt ill, “only very tired,” and was obliged to remain in bed, with only one worker allowed to come into her room. Having to remain in her room without seeing anyone and not being able to go to the chapel for Sunday Mass were what she found most difficult. According to Tavella, it was being confined without visits for three weeks that weighed most heavily on this spirited lady.
The Saint Catherine Labouré residence had gone through the first COVID-19 episode in March 2020 without a single detected positive case or illness. Things changed dramatically about a month ago, on January 16, when a wave of contaminations took place, hitting 81 of the 88 residents. Most were “asymptomatic,” meaning they were never sick at all, but 10 died.
This is quite remarkable, since the residence has always scrupulously implemented safety measures, including social distancing, masks and so on, sectioning off its inhabitants into different groups to avoid cross-contamination. None of this stopped the spread of the virus, which seems to indicate that the so-called “barrier gestures” and isolation are not the answer to COVID-19.
In Saint Catherine Labouré, vaccination against COVID had not taken place when the virus entered to the residence, and it will not be offered to those who have now had the disease or tested positive.
But while France’s oldest inhabitant showed that being in good health (with a piece of chocolate and a glass of wine every day), and also having faith and hope are more important than keeping apart from the rest of humanity when it comes to beating COVID-19, two other very old French people unfortunately died of the disease recently – both just days after having received an mRNA “vaccine.”
Marie-Claudine Fourrier, 110, in Saône-et-Loire, was vaccinated on January 29. She was “in good health,” said the local press. A few days later, on February 1, she passed away.
In the same way, the oldest inhabitant of Brittany, Camille Lahoux, died at age 108 on February 2, five days after being vaccinated against COVID-19. His vaccination had been presented as a “victory” by the local press.
Numbers of deaths intervening shortly after the COVID-19 “vaccine” were regularly updated by the French press until January 22, at which time nine such deaths were listed. Nationwide, counts are more difficult to find now. Health authorities are repeating that it is normal that old and frail people die and that no link should be made with the COVID shot except if there is an obvious allergic reaction.