World's oldest person, U.S.-born Spanish woman, turns 116
María Branyas Morera turned 116 years old Saturday.
The U.S.-born Spanish woman is the world's oldest person, a mantle Morera assumed in January, according to Guinness World Records. She survived two World Wars, the Spanish Civil War, and the COVID-19 pandemic, they said.
And while Morera "is old, very old, she's not an idiot," according to the tagline on her Twitter account. She posts often in Catalan on her social media account, sharing reflections on her current life, memories from past years, and even recipes for paella, Spain's famous dish.
Es un honor y un placer anunciarles a todos que los miembros de LongeviQuest visitó ayer, 3 de marzo de 2023, un día antes de cumplir 116 años, a la persona viva más longeva del mundo, la Sra. Maria Branyas Morera. pic.twitter.com/3K8IbVuqCb
— LongeviQuest Supercentenarios (@Supercentenaria) March 4, 2023
Morera celebrated her birthday a day earlier on Friday at her residence home Santa Maria del Tura in Olot, Catalonia, Spain, surrounded by friends, fans and her 78-year-old daughter Rosa. Morera was lucid and spoke fondly about her childhood, said Ben Meyers, CEO of LongeviQuest, a longevity company that unites super longevity researchers worldwide.
Meyers, who was with Morera at the residence home, said she was touched by greetings from her many fans around the world.
"This warms my heart," Morera said.
Born on March 4, 1907, in California, one year after her parents emigrated to the U.S., Morera spent the first few years of her life in San Francisco, according to Guinness. Eight years later, the family decided to return to Spain, where they settled in Catalonia. She married Joan Moret in 1931, according to Guinness World Records, and had three children, 11 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. Like most, she had her share of triumphs and tragedies, she lost her father on the voyage from the U.S. to Spain from pulmonary tuberculosis, according to Guinness World Records.
Still, she tells her social media followers, "Never, ever, become a bitter person no matter what."
Bon dia, món. Avui compleixo 116 anys. Com diu Jaroslav Seifert:
"He hagut d'arribar a edat
per aprendre a estimar el
En el silenci apareixen
i a les cruïlles de la
que el temps pretenia
— Super Àvia Catalana (@MariaBranyas112) March 4, 2023
Life, she knows, can change in an instant. In February, Morera was visited by American documentary director Sam Green, who is making a film titled "The Oldest Person in the World." The movie, which began filming in 2015 according to its website, will include interviews with the world's current oldest person. The filmmakers plan to hold a "premiere" every decade – an event Morera intends to be at.
"In other words, I will be at the premiere," Morera wrote on Twitter.
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