Eliza Gold
May 15, 2016 12:25 pm
YouTube/MSNBC

If news comes on the heels of someone else’s passing, can it still be good news?

It’s a curious question for Emma Morano, who at 116 years-old is full of unique wisdom. On Friday morning, tucked away in the northern Italian city of Verbania, Morano received the news that Susannah Mushatt Jones, a New Yorker with just a few months of life on her, had passed away. Jones’ passing transferred the title of the world’s oldest living person to Morano, also making her the only living person who has touched three centuries.

“She was told this morning and she said ‘My word, I’m as old as the hills,’ but she was very pleased,” her caregiver Rosi Santoni (a 72 year-old relative) told The Telegraph. Unfortunately Morano was not able to receive the news over the phone, as she is almost entirely deaf. But aside from hearing loss, Morano’s health is in good shape.

Morano credits her title of being the world’s oldest living person to her diet and being single. Her days start at 8 am, and are followed by a breakfast of milk and biscuits. She also eats minced meat, pasta and two raw eggs every day. It’s a typical Italian diet, though the raw eggs are a doctor’s order leftover from an appointment Morano had in 1919. She had sought help on managing her anemia, for which her doctor advised she eat raw eggs daily.  Morano took the advice seriously, she hasn’t missed a day since.

Morano was born in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, in a village called Civiasco on November 29, 1899. She was one of eight children, with five sisters and three brothers. By trade she worked in a factory making jute sacks and then as a cook. Morano married once, but left her husband in 1938, after the tragic death of her only child at seven-months.

Although Morano’s social life is limited these days, because “her friends are all in the cemetery, sadly,” Mrs Santoni told The Telegraph, she still received lots of attention on her 116th birthday. Sergio Mattarella, the president of Italy, sent Morano a congratulatory letter and Pope Francis sent a signed blessing, wishing her “good health and serenity of spirit.” The Pope’s blessing is now framed and hangs on the wall of her apartment.

It’s a good thing after all these years Morano was still open to mixing up her wall decor…you never know who’s going to send something bellisimo in the mail! Check out MSNBC’s coverage of Emma’s birthday below:

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