The Legend of Saint Germain: The Man who Wouldn't Die

The Count of Saint-Germaine is undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic characters from history. Considered by many to be either immortal or continuously reincarnated, he survives in all accounts as a great mind, an alchemist, and a Rosicrucian—a member of a secret society that believed the world is built on mysterious truths from the past which are hidden from the average man. The pattern of his life, however, is one that is surrounded in mystery, and much of his background is questionable to say the least. Born in 1710, there are two explanations for Saint-Germaine's parentage. The first, circulated by himself as he lay on his deathbed, is that he was the third son of Prince Ferenc Rokoczy II of Hungary and an unknown woman. Further to this theory, he is believed to have been raised and tutored by the wealthy Medici banking family of Italy, explaining his astounding intellect as an adult. The second possibility of his birth is that he was born to an unnamed Portuguese Jew.  However, neither version of his origins can be known for certain, as there are no birth or funeral records of the count, and the count's real name is unknown. "Saint-Germaine" was a pseudonym he derived for himself.  

The Count of Saint-Germaine (Comte de Saint Germain) shows up in numerous places throughout his lifetime, making friends and enemies all over Europe. He was well-known for his intellect, talents, and royal affiliations, and is considered to have dressed well, with a ring on every finger, and a constantly powdered wig. Such dressing denoted a wealthy upbringing, and the former consideration that he was the son of a prince, boded well for his political affiliations. Saint-Germaine was considered a charming man, adept at painting and music, able to speak up to ten languages—most of the prominent ones of Europe—fluently.

Saint-Germaine created a stir of curiosity during his lifetime in numerous ways, most evidently because he is recorded as never having been seen eating or drinking in public, yet still remaining in absolutely perfect health. He told the infamous Giacomo Girolamo Casanova of Italy that he only ate a secret type of food (considered by some to be an age-defying elixir) which had allegedly kept him alive for over three hundred years, so contemporary food was not necessary. He was also a curious figure because he had no apparent means of wealth, but was never wanting, making friends with high-status aristocrats and royals through undefinable means. In fact, Saint-Germaine's closest confidante was Prince Karl of Hesse-Cassel in the province of Schleswig-Holstein, the only man to whom he admitted his parentage and in whose home Saint-Germaine chose to die. Among Saint-Germaine's other closest supporters were some of history's favorite figures. He was arrested in London, around 1743, for being a highly wanted Jacobite spy. Catherine the Great was purportedly aided by Saint-Germaine in her becoming the Empress of Russia in 1762. Louis XV of France trusted Saint-Germaine so completely during his reign that he was the only one, save the king himself, allowed inside the rooms of Louis' favored mistress Madame de Pompadour. Furthermore, Louis XV had initially met Saint-Germaine because the king had requested his aid in diplomatic affairs. Saint-Germaine then purportedly went on to attempt to create peace between France and Britain during the Seven Years' War, failing to do so only because he was considered a suspicious figure by Charles Louis Auguste Fouquet, Duke of Belle-Isle.

The aforementioned Casanova was also an acquaintance of Saint-Germaine, and considered himself to be a fellow alchemist and Rosicrucian.  He also considered himself most clever until meeting Saint-Germaine, whose confession about being three hundred years old suggested he had far surpassed Casanova's skill in alchemy.Although Saint-Germaine's origins are not very well documented, the connections he made throughout his lifetime were such that they propelled him to the front of the historical records. A mysterious man of such accomplished talent and intelligence, Saint-Germaine could not be ignored by his contemporaries in Europe, nor can he be by modern scholars and researchers. The tale of the fantastical elements of Comte de Saint-Germaine continues in part two of this article, as a fascinating look into the secret society he believed in and the mystery behind his supposed immortality.

Article originally appeared on Ancient Origins

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