'New' world's-oldest-person is a church-loving, Jamaican 117-year-old

The new oldest person in the world eats what she wants — but no pork and chicken. And the Jamaica-born 117-year-old abstains from what she called “rum and dem tings.”

Born in March 1900, Violet Mosses Brown once told a hometown newspaper that hard work, devotion to the Baptist church and respect for family, life and people in general have helped her live a long and happy life.

"Honor your mother and father so your days may be long," she said, quoting the Old Testament.

"I love the Church," Brown told The Gleaner.

Hailing from the same part of the island as Olympic champion Usain Bolt, Brown on Saturday became the world’s oldest person after the death of Emma Morano of Italy.

Baptized at age 13, Brown proudly recalled decades of "staunch contribution" to the church, showing off a plaque she received at age 107 from the Trelawny Baptist Association.

Known affectionately as "Aunt V," Brown told the Jamaica Observer that she "likes fish and mutton and sometimes she will have cow foot." She also likes locally grown produce such as sweet potatoes, breadfruit, oranges and mangoes.

Morano, who passed away at 117, also held a unique place among "supercentenarians" as the last known person to have been born in the 1800s. Born on Nov. 29, 1899, Morano achieved a rare feat, living a life that spanned three centuries. The oldest of eight children, she outlived them all, including a sister who lived to be 102.

Morano credited her longevity to her diet, telling the Italian newspaper La Stampa that she ate a raw egg every day. She also went to bed before 7 p.m. each night, and arose before 6 a.m.

Morano died while sitting in a rocking chair in her home in the Northern Italy town of Verbania, The Associated Press reported. “She didn’t suffer,"  Dr. Carlo Bava told AP. "I’m happy she didn’t suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly.”

Follow Greg Toppo on Twitter: @gtoppo

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