At 110, world’s oldest nun celebrates birthday


The world’s oldest nun celebrated her 110th birthday on Feb. 20 with members of her order, the local TV station, a birthday cake and a message from Pope Francis, who passed along his “common joy for the happy occasion, with congratulations and warm wishes”.

Born in 1907 to a humble family in Verona as the third of 10 daughters, Sister Candida Bellotti has actually lived through 10 popes including Francis, who she met in 2014 in Rome. For more than 80 years she has been a member of the order of St. Camillus, joining in 1931 and working as a professional nurse in various cities across Italy.
World’s oldest nun
Screengrab from Lucca’s Noi TV website.

On her 107th birthday she shared her secrets of longevity with the ANSA news agency.

Sister Candida, whose given name is Alma, said “living in joy and making those around you happy” keeps her in good mental and physical health. “Trust and give thanks to the forces outside your control that may guide your path,” she said.

The Bishop of Lucca, the Tuscan city where she now lives, also attended her 110th birthday celebration.

Sister Candida’s birthday came just a few months after that of another Italian of great age, Emma Morano, born on Nov 29, 1899, who is the world's oldest living person and the last known living person to have been born in the 1800s.

Morano is the oldest Italian person ever, the second-oldest European behind Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment and one of the five verified oldest people of all time.