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101-year-old’s secret to longevity: “Talk to God every day”


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Aleteia - published on 05/01/23

In an interview with the newspaper La Dépêche, Véronique Tellier, a centenarian, shares her recipe, which includes prayer and obviously a great joie de vivre.

There are people whose spirits seem to keep the eternal flame of youth within them, even when time takes its toll. Véronique Tellier, who is 101 years old, is a perfect example. Resident of a retirement home located in Montauban, southern France, this lively woman revealed her secrets of longevity to La Dépêche in an interview published on April 3. She has no medicine for rejuvenation or magic elixir, but she obviously has strong faith and invincible humor.

Born in Algeria in 1923, she lived there happily until the Algerian War (1954-1962), which forced her to cross the Mediterranean with thousands of pieds-noirs to reach the French coast. It’s a painful memory for her.

“Imagine leaving 40 years of memories behind in a few hours, simply locking the door of your house, without taking any belongings, in order to save your life, the lives of your parents and of your children.”

I’d rather lose my life than my faith …

Véronique Tellier

The death of her 20-year-old daughter is Veronique’s greatest suffering. Yet she displays an unshakeable faith:

“These are wounds that never close (…) What has kept me going is faith. I talk to God every day, he has never betrayed me. Hold on to the Lord, you will never be disappointed. In my sad moments, I look at Our Lady: She always stands tall, confident. I would rather lose my life than my faith, and I thank fate for having given me this spiritual richness.”

Far from remaining inactive, this energetic centenarian maintains a well-oiled routine to keep herself fit and above all happy: gymnastics on Thursdays, phone conversations with her loved ones, and … daily Mass.

“Most of all, I go to Mass every day! When I get up there I’ll tell the Lord: I did everything you told me to do, I hope to have a place at your side.”

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