Catalan woman of 117 years is the world’s longest living person

by Lorraine Williamson
longest living woman

The longest living woman in the world, Maria Branyas, turned 117 on Monday. Branyas lives in Olot (Girona). The secret of her advanced age could be in her DNA: “Her biological age is at least 10 years younger.”

Catalan Maria Branyas is considered the longest-lived person in the world following the death in January 2023 of French nun Lucile Randon – 118 years old. Branyas turned 117 years old on Monday in Olot (Girona).

The woman was born in 1907 in San Francisco (USA) to Catalan parents. She is now only two months away from being one of the longest-living people in history.

Her family attended her birthday on Monday, at the retirement home where she has lived for more than two decades. Her daughter Rosa Moret said she has been “slowly deteriorating” since the summer. Still, nothing hurts her and she doesn’t have any illness, Moret said.

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She also shared that her mother knows that there is no one older than her at the moment, but she downplays it. Branyas sees all records as “nonsense”. “It has no value for herself, nor for others.”

Congratulations from the government

The president of the Catalan government, Generalitat Pere Aragonès, congratulated Maria Branyas on Monday and mentioned her birthday on ‘X’. “Olot is home to the oldest person in the world, and today she is 117 years old. It’s a privilege to have her in our midst,” he tweeted Monday.

Maria Branyas’ state of health

As for her state of health, Moret reveals that Maria has not been hospitalised, but that she has lost her sight, hearing, and recently, her memory. In addition, she can no longer walk on her own. However, she emphasises that her mother’s mental faculties are still intact and that she can have a conversation with her family members.

Longest living

According to the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), which manages the list of Guinness records for longevity by verifying birth and death dates, there are currently 11 people who have lived longer than Branyas. They are all women, none of them are still alive. On May 10, Catalan woman Branyas will join the top 10 of the longest-lived people in history. The French Jeanne Calment, who died in August 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days, is the person who lived the longest.

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