Many Spaniards have known the now oldest person in the world for three years.

At that time, the first Covid wave raged particularly badly in the country's old people's homes, thousands of residents died.

María Branyas also became infected – a few days after her 113th birthday.

Several neighbors died at her home in the small Catalonian town of Olot, but she recovered.

In 1918 she had already survived the Spanish flu and later the Spanish Civil War.

This week the French nun André died in Toulon.

She was 118 years old.

The Gerontology Research Group had named the woman, born Lucile Randon, as the oldest living human as of April 2022.

Now the 115-year-old María Branyas has taken that place.

“Very strong and positive woman”

She was born in San Francisco in 1907 to Spanish parents and came to Spain in 1915.

Her father died on the crossing.

Her family has her own Twitter account called Super Àvia Catalana.

There she can be seen blowing out the candles on a cake on her birthday on March 4th last year.

"I'm old, very old, but not an idiot," is her Twitter motto under a family picture from New Orleans that shows her at the age of four.

She describes her almost 80-year-old daughter as a "very strong and positive woman": Her mother never smoked and did not do much sport, and she went for walks regularly.

Recently, her eyes and hearing have been increasingly problematic, but she looks back on her life with gratitude.

María Branyas has three children, eleven grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren.