Francisca Celsa dos Santos was born to Raimundo Gertrudes dos Santos and Maria Antonia do Espirito Santo in Cascavel, Ceara, Brazil. She claimed to have been born on 22 October 1904, but research suggests she was actually born one day earlier.
Celsa dos Santos worked in household chores, and later as a merchant selling lace cloths. At some point before 1935, she married Raimundo Celso (1905–1979). They had six children, three of whom were still living as of 2020. Before the birth of their last child, the couple went to the civil registry office in Pacajus, Ceara to get officially married.
Shortly after her husband’s death on 4 September 1979, Celsa dos Santos moved to live with her daughter in Messejana, a neighbourhood in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. At the age of 85, Celsa dos Santos was diagnosed with a malignant tumor. According to her daughter, the doctors did not expect her to survive, so the family took her out of hospital and decided to treat her with home remedies. Despite the odds, she successfully recovered.
Since 2012, Celsa dos Santos had been unable to walk. As of November 2019, she was cared for by one of her three daughters, Nazete Monteiro (then aged 73), and her granddaughter, Fransilvia. She reportedly did not take any medication and rarely got sick, but was not very lucid. Her health was monitored by her grandson, Dr. Luziney Monteiro.
Francisca Celsa dos Santos died from pneumonia on 5 October 2021 in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil at the age of 116 years, 349 days.
Following Celsa dos Santos’ death, Antonia da Santa Cruz became the oldest validated living person in Brazil, as well as the third-oldest living validated person in the world.