Malta’s oldest female citizen, Maria Farrugia, has just turned 107. A first-class seamstress in her days, Maria is well looked after by her daughter Carmen and nephew Stephen. When we asked her for the secret of her longevity, Maria said she starts with the Sign of the Cross, prays to God and tries not to worry too much.
When Maria had reached the century her family had celebrated in grand style, never imagining they would have so much more to celebrate. Seven years on, Maria is still alive and kicking. Even her late mother had reached the century. Maria is still lucid, does a bit of walking, and recalls many memories of the past.
“I used to sew. I once sewed a jacket for a boy, on my own, because no one had taught me.”
Her daughter Carmen has been looking after Maria for over 30 years, with the help of Carmen’s son Stephen. Carmen said it was not easy to look after someone of such a venerable age.
“When mother is about to get up, we run to assist her to make sure she doesn’t fall over.”
Maria is happy to have received a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis on the occasion of her birthday. Before we left, Maria told us the secret of her longevity. “Ask God to help you, make the Sign of the Cross when you wake up, or else do the same when you’re about to eat.”
Our best wishes to Maria for a longer and serene life.