World's oldest man dies at 114, attributed long life to loving God

Juan Vicente Pérez Mora. (Photo: YouTube/Guinness World Records)

The oldest man in the world, who died this week in Venezuela, attributed his longevity in part to his strong Catholic faith and love for God.

Juan Vicente Pérez Mora, 114, died Tuesday in Táchira, Venezuela, just weeks shy of his 115th birthday, according to an announcement from Freddy Bernal, the governor of Táchira.

Guinness World Records had confirmed Mora as the world's oldest man, awarding him the distinction on Feb. 4, 2022, when he was 112 years and 253 days old. He was born May 27, 1909, in El Cobre, Táchira, Venezuela, the ninth of 10 children.

Mora could only finish five months of formal education when he was 10 because his teacher became ill. But he learned how to read and write using a book she gave him, according to Guinness. 

Mora, who worked in agriculture while helping to settle land and family disputes as sheriff in Caricuena from 1948 to 1958, was married to Ediofina del Rosario García until her death in 1997. The two had six sons and five daughters and were married for 60 years.

Family was central to Mora, who boasted of 42 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.

"My Uncle Vicente transmits a lot of peace, tranquility and radiates a lot of joy," newphew Freddy Abreu told Catholic News Agency's Spanish-speaking outlet in 2022.

"He's a person who has a lot to give. He enjoys the simple things in life and is very grateful to God."

Mora, who prayed the rosary twice daily, told Guinness World Records in 2022 that the secret to his long life was to "work hard, rest on holidays, go to bed early, drink a glass of aguardiente [a sugar-based liquor] every day, love God, and always carry Him in your heart."

He also wanted to be remembered "as a hardworking man, faithful to his wife and his religion."

Following his death, tributes to Mora poured in from political leaders in Venezuela.

"Our dear Juan Vicente Pérez Mora, today with deep sadness and pain we say goodbye to you, to that archetype of a man from Táchira, humble, hardworking, peaceful, enthusiastic about family and tradition," tweeted Gov. Bernal.

"Together with my wife and children we had the pleasure and the pride of meeting him and sharing with his loved ones," Bernal added. "My old Don Vicente, we will always remember him for his optimism in life, for faith, hope, and that deep love for our state of Táchira."

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro echoed Bernal's sentiments.

"Juan Vicente Pérez Mora has transcended into eternity at 114 years old," Maduro posted on X. "I send my hugs and condolences to his family and to all the people of El Cobre, Táchira state. May God receive him in his holy glory."

Courtesy of The Christian Post.