Maria de Jesus

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María de Jesús
Born Maria de Jesus dos Santos
10 September 1893
Olival, Ourém, Kingdom of Portugal
Died 2 January 2009
(aged 115 years, 114 days)
Corujo, Tomar, Portugal
Cause of death Septic shock
Known for Supercentenarian - Oldest verified person in the world (26 November 2008 – 2 January 2009)
Oldest verified Portuguese person ever

Maria de Jesus dos Santos (10 September 1893 – 2 January 2009)[1] was a Portuguese supercentenarian who was the world's oldest verified living person for 37 days,[citation needed] until her death at 115 years 114 days. She assumed this status after the 26 November 2008 death of American Edna Parker, who was 115 years 220 days old.


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. [1] 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)[citation needed]. 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.[2]


Maria de Jesus died on 2 January 2009.[3] The cause of death was reported as septic shock.[citation needed] Her death left 114-year-old American Gertrude Baines as the oldest living person.[4]

See also


  1. News of her death in Reuters
  2. News Report on Maria de Jesus (Portuguese)
  3. "World's oldest person dies at the age of 115". AFP. 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2009-01-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "World's oldest person dies at 115". BBC News Online. 2 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links