The Decadent Birthday Meal This 117-Year-Old Nun Had To Celebrate Surviving COVID

Sister André turned 117 years old on Thursday, February 11, 2021. She may be the oldest known person in Europe, but COVID-19 doesn't phase her. For one, she came down with it in mid-January, 2021 — and recovered. "She kept telling me, 'I'm not afraid of Covid because I'm not afraid of dying, so give my vaccine doses to those who need them,'" David Tavella, the communications manager of Ste. Catherine Labouré nursing home, told The New York Times. The French nun, who was born Lucile Randon in 1904, would have been 14 years old during the 1918 influenza pandemic. It wasn't until she was 40 years old, during World War II, that she joined a nunnery.  

According to what Tavella told AP, for each of her birthdays during the last decade, Sister André hasn't expected to have another birthday dinner. ("I won't be here next year," is what the nun purportedly told Tavella when he began planning 2022's feast with her.) Is it any wonder that her birthday feasts are something to write home about? 

The special dessert Sister André ate to celebrate her 117th birthday

Lunch was a three-course affair at Sister André's birthday party. The New York Times reports that the 117-year-old nun sipped on port wine and foie gras with hot figs. Next up? Roasted capon with mushrooms and sweet potatoes. And finally, sister André and her birthday guests were treated to a Roquefort and goat cheese platter, with, of course, red, red wine. According to AP, Sister André took a nap after lunch. We can't say we blame her. After a three-course meal that decadent, we'd be itching for a siesta, too. 

It's the nun's post-nap dessert that sounds truly decadent. (Admittedly, after 117 years of sampling sweets, asking for anything but the perfect dessert would be shocking.) Chefs prepared a raspberry and peach flavored baked Alaska to celebrate Sister André's birthday. The nun did not have to blow out 117 candles. "Even if we made big cakes, I'm not sure that she would have enough breath to blow them all out. You would need a fire extinguisher," Tavella told AP. She did, however, wash the baked Alaska down with a sip or two of champagne.