Born in 1907, 116-year-old María Branyas Morera is the world’s oldest person, and she said the secret to longevity is “staying away from toxic people”.
After 118-year-old Frenchwoman Lucille Randon died in January 2023, María Branyas Morera took the Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest living person.
María has lived through two world wars, the Spanish Civil War, the 1918 flu pandemic, and the Covid pandemic more than 100 years later.
She made global headlines in 2020 after surviving a bout of COVID-19, she was believed to be the oldest Covid survivor at one point before previous supercentenarian Lucille Randon ended up contracting the virus herself.
World’s oldest woman reveals secret to longevity – “stay away from toxic people”
According to the Guinness World Records site, María credits her longevity to “Order, tranquility, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, no worries, no regrets, lots of positivity and staying away from toxic people”.
A practical woman, she also credits her long life to “Luck and good genetics”. She was born in San Francisco on 4 March 1907, a year after her parents emigrated from Spain to the United States.
After her father founded the magazine Mercurio, they moved back to Spain and settled in Catalonia.
Ever since then, she has endured many defining moments on the small and large scale, surviving wars and pandemics along the way.
María Branyas Morera – a long and eventful life
When María was a little girl, her father died from pulmonary tuberculosis on an ocean journey from the United States to Spain.
In 1918, the Spanish Flu pandemic washed across the world. When María was 29, the Spanish Civil War broke out, leaving her with “very bad memories”. World War II followed shortly after.
María started a family with Catalan doctor Joan Moret. The pair had three children together. On the day of their wedding, they learned that their priest had unexpectedly died.
As there was no telephone at the church, they had to drive around and search for a replacement.
More recently, María has embraced advances in technology and uses voice-to-text devices and Twitter to stay in touch with her loved ones.
Inspirational tweets – keeping in touch with the world
On New Year’s Day, María tweeted, “Life is not eternal for anyone. At my age, a new year is a gift, a humble celebration, a beautiful journey, a moment of happiness. Let’s enjoy life together”.
She resides at the Residència Santa María del Tur in Olot, Spain, and back in January 2023, a statement was issued saying they would recognise her World Record as the world’s oldest living person with a private event.
“She is in good health and continues to be surprised and grateful for the attention that this … has generated,” the home said. Check out her Twitter page here.
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