Throughout the eighteenth century, there was a strange character of obvious wealth, influence, and prosperity who was known to have come and gone amidst the royal courts of Europe. This mysterious figure we now know as Comte de Saint Germain was first witnessed in 1710 under the name of Marquis de Montferrat. Seen in Venice by a musician named Rameau and a Parisian socialite called Madam de Gergy, he had the image of a 45-year-old man. It was an appearance he would hold all his life, and he would only officially die in 1784. Although, it is said by some that Saint-Germain was immortal, that he had somehow uncovered the secrets to eternal youth, and that he never actually passed away. To them, he became known as “Saint-Germain the Deathless”. His friend and renowned 18th-century philosopher, Voltaire wrote describing him as “a man who knows everything and who never dies”.
Saint-Germain’s place of origin was never revealed, not even by those who he had confided in. Although it’s believed that he may have been one of the sons of Prince Francis Racoczi II of Transylvania. The prince gave his children up at birth, and it’s now considered that he may have been raised by a family in the little village of San Germano in Italy. This would account for how he acquired the name of Comte de Saint-Germain.
For his entire life he looked like a middle-aged, strongly built man of average height. He was an amazing storyteller with incredible tales, impressive talents, and seemingly endless amounts of knowledge. It is unanimously agreed upon that Saint-Germain became accomplished in the art of alchemy, the mystical “science” that strives to control the elements. He could create fantastic jewels, had a complete understanding of music and art as he was described as a virtuoso on the violin, and was able to provide people with potions which he claimed were the elixir of youth. His involvement with secret societies, such as the Rosicrucians, the Freemasons, Order of the Templar, the Society of Asiatic Brothers, the Knights of Light, and the infamous Illuminati, further advanced his image as some sort of divine esotericist. However, the strangest among his many and varied characteristics had been Saint-Germain’s diet; while he was known to frequently dine with friends and royals, he would eat very little while in polite company, having a diet consisting primarily of oatmeal, and allowing an occasional lean cut of chicken. He enjoyed the company of women and often mixed with the aristocracy.
Saint-Germain first came into prominence in the high society of Europe in 1742. He charmed the royals and the rich with his vast knowledge of science and history, his extensive musical abilities, his easy charm and quick wit. He spoke many languages fluently, such as French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, English, and was familiar with Chinese, Latin, Arabic, ancient Greek, and Sanskrit. Saint-Germain played the role of a trusted diplomat and spy for King Louis XV, although, his friendship with the king created many enemies within the French government and he was forced to flee to England. He later resurfaced in Russia under the name, General Soltikov, and played a major role in the revolution of 1762 in attempt to overthrow Peter III and place Catherine the Great on the throne. At the beginning of Louis XVI’s reign, he reappeared in Paris, and through an old friend, the Countess d’Adhemar, he issued a warning to Queen Marie Antoinette of the dangers that were building for the French monarchy. While Saint-Germain attempted to see the king personally, the police were ordered by the king’s minister to capture the Comte, so Saint-Germain simply disappeared again.
Saint-Germain went on to Hamburg, Germany and befriended Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel. For the next several years, he lived as a guest in the prince’s castle at Eckernförde. According to local records, Saint-Germain died in 1784, although there is no tombstone bearing his name. All his papers, many of which concerned Freemasonry, were left to the count, and similar to Louis XV, Charles never revealed anything about Saint-Germain’s real history. And even though he claimed to be sad that Saint-Germain had died, many commentators believed that he did not appear so upset, which leads to a theory that he may have been privileged to a staged death.
For any mere mortal, this would be the end of the story, but not for Count de Saint-Germain as he would continue to be seen throughout the 19th century, and well into the 20th century. In 1788, he was apparently the official French representative at the World Convention of Freemasons. After the taking of the Bastille in the French Revolution in 1789, the Countess of d’Adhemar said she had met her old friend again and had a lengthy conversation with him. He allegedly told her of France’s immediate future, as if he knew what was to come. She further saw him in 1815, and in 1821, and that each time he looked no older than her memory of him. It is said that he continued to have an influence on secret societies and may even have been a guiding light of the Rosicrucians.
Between 1880 and 1900, Saint-Germain’s name once again became prominent when members of the Theosophical Society, including the famous mystic Helena Blavatsky, claimed that he was still alive and working toward the “spiritual development of the West.” There is even an alleged photograph taken of Blavatsky and Saint-Germain together.
Those with the Theosophy movement believe Saint-Germain is one of the ‘great masters’, sent to show men the errors of their ways. They believe he is still wandering the Earth, waiting for the right time to reappear and counsel Man through troubled waters. Until his return, the enigmatic figure known as the Comte de Saint-Germain remains a mystery.