Cornelis Marten
Birth: 27 September 1749
Curacao
Death: 31 March 1852
Kralendijk, Bonaire
Age: 102 years, 186 days
Country: CuraçaoCUW,NetherlandsNEDBonaireBON,NetherlandsNED
Centenarian

Cornelis Marten also known as Papa Cornes (27 September 1749 – 31 March 1852) was a Curacao-born Bonaire centenarian.

Biography

Cornelis Marten was born in Curacao on 27 September 1749. He was a former slave, who learned how to write and read Spanish in captivity and, later in the 1770′s, became an “unofficial” Priest in Bonaire. He served as a clerk and middleman, reporting daily events in his journal. Papa Cornes baptized and preached Catholicism on Bonaire, he sermoned people in Papamientú and bettered slaves’ life. He between 1772 and 1780 built a little chapel at Antriol out of mud and branches. This settlement is the oldest religious center in the island. In 1955, when the construction of a new Catholic parish church was started nearby, the builders reverently removed a stone from Papa Cornees’ little house of worship to serve as “first stone” of the new church.[1]

Cornelis Marten died in Kralendijk, Bonaire on 31 March 1852 at the age of 102 years, 186 days.[2] He was called by the Jesuits “a man of divine providence”. Nowadays, a school in Bonaire bares his name. Cornelis Marten is currently oldest known man ever from Bonaire.

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