Topic: Maria de Jesus

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Maria de Jesus dos Santos (10 September 1893 – 2 January 2009) was a Portuguese supercentenarian who was the world's oldest verified living person for five weeks, until her death at 115 years and 114 days. She inherited this status after the 26 November 2008 death of American Edna Parker, who was 115 years and 220 days old. She was the only verified person born in 1893 to live into 2009.

Born as Maria de Jesus, she married José dos Santos in 1919 and became a widow in 1951 (when she was 57 years old); however, as is common in Portugal, Maria de Jesus did not use her husband's last name. From that relationship five children were born, only three of whom are still living. One of those, a daughter, Madalena, was born on 25 December 1924, and lived with her mother. Jesus also left 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 6-great-great-grandchildren. During her lifetime, she visited the hospital only once and was reportedly a healthy person, with the exception of her mobility, which deteriorated over her last years. Jesus worked on the land for her entire life and lived in her own house instead of a nursing home (like the majority of supercentenarians). Jesus remained fairly responsive until her last days; she was able to smile and wave to visitors. However, she could no longer recognize her family, because of serious problems with her sight and hearing. She could, however, still walk around with the aid of a walker. For activities, Jesus enjoyed looking through her old family albums, sunbathing at her porch, eating Portuguese rice pudding and ice cream, as well as taking baths. Reportedly, she never smoked nor drank alcohol nor coffee. Jesus liked eating vegetables but avoided eating meat, though she did eat fish.

She became the oldest verified living person in Portugal at age 111 years, 318 days, with the death of 114-year-old Maria do Couto Maia-Lopes on 25 July 2005 and the oldest in Europe with the death of another 114-year-old, Frenchwoman Camille Loiseau, on 12 August 2006 at age 114 years, 180 days.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Maria de Jesus."