Count of St. Germain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An engraving of the Count of St. Germain by Nicolas Thomas made in 1783, after a painting then owned by the Marquise d'Urfe and now lost.[1] Contained at the Louvre in France.[2]

The Count of St. Germain or in French Comte de Saint Germain (French pronunciation: [kɔ̃t sɛ̃ ʒɛʁmɛ̃]; c. 1691 or 1712 – 27 February 1784)[3] was a European adventurer who achieved prominence in European high society of the mid-18th century due to his interest and achievements in science, alchemy, philosophy, and the arts. St. Germain used a variety of names and titles, including the Marquis de Montferrat, Comte Bellamarre, Chevalier Schoening, Count Weldon, Comte Soltikoff, Manuel Doria, Graf Tzarogy, and Prinz Ragoczy. While his real name is unknown, and his birth and background obscure, towards the end of his life he claimed that he was a son of Prince Francis II Rákóczi of Transylvania.[4][5]

He is said to have made far-fetched claims (such as being 500 years old),[6] leading Voltaire to dub him "The Wonderman", and that "He is a man who does not die, and who knows everything".[7][8] Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel is recorded as having called him "one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived".[9] He associated himself with some of the top figures of the day including Casanova, Voltaire and Mozart.

Life and career[edit]


The count claimed to be a son of Francis II Rákóczi, the Prince of Transylvania, which could possibly be unfounded.[10] However, this would account for his wealth and fine education.[11] The will of Francis II Rákóczi mentions his eldest son, Leopold George, who was believed to have died at the age of four.[11] The speculation is that his identity was safeguarded as a protective measure against the persecutions of the Habsburg dynasty.[11] At the time of his arrival in Schleswig in 1779, St. Germain told Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel that he was 88 years old.[12] This would place his birth in 1691 when Francis II Rákóczi was 15 years old.

St. Germain was supposedly educated in Italy by the last of the Medicis, Gian Gastone, his alleged mother's brother-in-law. He was believed to be a student at the University of Siena.[4] Throughout his adult life, he deliberately spun a confusing web to conceal his actual name and origins, using different pseudonyms in the different places of Europe that he visited.

The Marquis de Crequy declared that St. Germain was an Alsatian Jew, Simon Wolff by name, and was born at Strasbourg about the close of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th century; others insist that he was a Spanish Jesuit named Aymar; and others again intimate that his true title was the Marquis de Betmar, and that he was a native of Portugal. The most plausible theory, however, makes him the natural son of an Italian princess and fixes his birth at San Germano, in Savoy, about the year 1710; his ostensible father being one Rotondo, a tax-collector of that district.

— Phineas Taylor Barnum, The Humbugs of the World, 1886.

Historical figure[edit]

He appears to have begun to be known under the title of the Count of St Germain during the early 1740s.[13]


According to David Hunter, the count contributed some of the songs to L'incostanza delusa, an opera performed at the Haymarket Theatre in London on all but one of the Saturdays from 9 February to 20 April 1745.[4] Later, in a letter of December of that same year, Horace Walpole mentions Count St. Germain as being arrested in London on suspicion of espionage (this was during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745), but released without charge:

The other day they seized an odd man, who goes by the name of Count St. Germain. He has been here these two years, and will not tell who he is, or whence, but professes [two wonderful things, the first] that he does not go by his right name; and the second that he never had any dealings with any woman – nay, nor with any succedaneum. He sings, plays on the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad, and not very sensible. He is called an Italian, a Spaniard, a Pole; somebody that married a great fortune in Mexico, and ran away with her jewels to Constantinople; a priest, a fiddler, a vast nobleman. The Prince of Wales has had an unsatiated curiosity about him, but in vain. However, nothing has been made out against him; he is released; and, what convinces me that he is not a gentleman, stays here, and talks of his being taken up for a spy.[14]

The Count gave two private musical performances in London in April and May 1749.[4] On one such occasion, Lady Jemima Yorke described how she was "very much entertain'd by him or at him the whole Time – I mean the Oddness of his Manner which it is impossible not to laugh at, otherwise you know he is very sensible & well-bred in conversation".[4] She continued:

He is an Odd Creature, and the more I see him the more curious I am to know something about him. He is everything with everybody: he talks Ingeniously with Mr Wray, Philosophy with Lord Willoughby, and is gallant with Miss Yorke, Miss Carpenter, and all the Young Ladies. But the Character and Philosopher is what he seems to pretend to, and to be a good deal conceited of: the Others are put on to comply with Les Manieres du Monde, but that you are to suppose his real characteristic; and I can't but fancy he is a great Pretender in All kinds of Science, as well as that he really has acquired an uncommon Share in some.[4]

Walpole reports that St Germain:

spoke Italian and French with the greatest facility, though it was evident that neither was his language; he understood Polish and soon learnt to understand English and talk it a little [...] But Spanish or Portuguese seemed his natural language.[15]

Walpole concludes that the Count was "a man of Quality who had been in or designed for the Church. He was too great a musician not to have been famous if he had not been a gentleman".[15] Walpole describes the Count as pale, with "extremely black" hair and a beard. "He dressed magnificently, [and] had several jewels" and was clearly receiving "large remittances, but made no other figure".[15]


St. Germain appeared in the French court around 1748. In 1749, he was employed by Louis XV for diplomatic missions.[16]

A mime and English comedian known as Mi'Lord Gower impersonated St. Germain in Paris salons. His stories were wilder than the real count's (he had advised Jesus, for example). Inevitably, hearsay of his routine got confused with the original.[citation needed]

Giacomo Casanova describes in his memoirs several meetings with the "celebrated and learned impostor". Of his first meeting, in Paris in 1757, he writes:

The most enjoyable dinner I had was with Madame de Robert Gergi, who came with the famous adventurer, known by the name of the Count de St. Germain. This individual, instead of eating, talked from the beginning of the meal to the end, and I followed his example in one respect as I did not eat, but listened to him with the greatest attention. It may safely be said that as a conversationalist he was unequalled.

St. Germain gave himself out for a marvel and always aimed at exciting amazement, which he often succeeded in doing. He was a scholar, linguist, musician, and chemist, good-looking, and a perfect ladies' man. For a while he gave them paints and cosmetics; he flattered them, not that he would make them young again (which he modestly confessed was beyond him) but that their beauty would be preserved by means of a wash which, he said, cost him a lot of money, but which he gave away freely. He had contrived to gain the favour of Madame de Pompadour, who had spoken about him to the king, for whom he had made a laboratory, in which the monarch – a martyr to boredom – tried to find a little pleasure or distraction, at all events, by making dyes. The king had given him a suite of rooms at Chambord, and a hundred thousand francs for the construction of a laboratory, and according to St. Germain the dyes discovered by the king would have a materially beneficial influence on the quality of French fabrics.

This extraordinary man, intended by nature to be the king of impostors and quacks, would say in an easy, assured manner that he was three hundred years old, that he knew the secret of the Universal Medicine, that he possessed a mastery over nature, that he could melt diamonds, professing himself capable of forming, out of ten or twelve small diamonds, one large one of the finest water without any loss of weight. All this, he said, was a mere trifle to him. Notwithstanding his boastings, his bare-faced lies, and his manifold eccentricities, I cannot say I thought him offensive. In spite of my knowledge of what he was and in spite of my own feelings, I thought him an astonishing man as he was always astonishing me.[17]

Dutch Republic[edit]

In March 1760, at the height of the Seven Years' War, St. Germain travelled to The Hague. In Amsterdam, he stayed at the bankers Adrian and Thomas Hope and pretended he came to borrow money for Louis XV with diamonds as collateral.[18] He assisted Bertrand Philip, Count of Gronsveld starting a porcelain factory in Weesp as furnace and colour specialist.[19] St. Germain tried to open peace negotiations between Britain and France with the help of Duke Louis Ernest of Brunswick-Lüneburg. British diplomats concluded that St. Germain had the backing of the Duc de Belle-Isle and possibly of Madame de Pompadour, who were trying to outmanoeuvre the French Foreign Minister, the pro-Austrian Duc de Choiseul. However, Britain would not treat with St. Germain unless his credentials came directly from the French king. The Duc de Choiseul convinced Louis XV to disavow St. Germain and demand his arrest. Count Bentinck de Rhoon, a Dutch diplomat, regarded the arrest warrant as internal French politicking, in which Holland should not involve itself. However, a direct refusal to extradite St. Germain was also considered impolitic. De Rhoon, therefore, facilitated the departure of St. Germain to England with a passport issued by the British Ambassador, General Joseph Yorke. This passport was made out "in blank", allowing St. Germain to travel in May 1760 from Hellevoetsluis to London under an assumed name, showing that this practice was officially accepted at the time.[20]

From St. Peterburg, St. Germain travelled to Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Ubbergen, and Zutphen (June 1762),[21][unreliable source?][22] Amsterdam (August 1762), Venice (1769), Livorno (1770), Neurenberg (1772), Mantua (1773), The Hague (1774), and Bad Schwalbach.


In 1779, St. Germain arrived in Altona in Schleswig, where he made an acquaintance with Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel, who also had an interest in mysticism and was a member of several secret societies. The count showed the Prince several of his gems and he convinced the latter that he had invented a new method of colouring cloth. The Prince was impressed and installed the Count in an abandoned factory at Eckernförde he had acquired especially for the Count, and supplied him with the materials and cloths that St. Germain needed to proceed with the project.[23] The two met frequently in the following years, and the Prince outfitted a laboratory for alchemical experiments in his nearby summer residence Louisenlund, where they, among other things, cooperated in creating gemstones and jewelry. The prince later recounts in a letter that he was the only person in whom the count truly confided.[24] He told the prince that he was the son of the Transylvanian Prince Francis II Rákóczi, and that he had been 88 years of age when he arrived in Schleswig.[25]

The count died in his residence in the factory on 27 February 1784, while the prince was staying in Kassel, and the death was recorded in the register of the St. Nicolai Church in Eckernförde.[26] He was buried 2 March and the cost of the burial was listed in the accounting books of the church the following day.[27] The official burial site for the count is at Nicolai Church (German St. Nicolaikirche) in Eckernförde. He was buried in a private grave. On 3 April the same year, the mayor and the city council of Eckernförde issued an official proclamation about the auctioning off of the count's remaining effects in case no living relative would appear within a designated time period to lay claim on them.[28] Prince Charles donated the factory to the crown and it was afterward converted into a hospital.

Jean Overton Fuller found, during her research, that the count's estate upon his death was a packet of paid and receipted bills and quittances, 82 Reichsthalers and 13 shillings (cash), 29 various groups of items of clothing (this includes gloves, stockings, trousers, shirts, etc.), 14 linen shirts, eight other groups of linen items, and various sundries (razors, buckles, toothbrushes, sunglasses, combs, etc.). No diamonds, jewels, gold, or any other riches were listed, nor were kept cultural items from travels, personal items (like his violin), or any notes of correspondence.[29]

Music by the Count[edit]

The following list of music comes from Appendix II from Jean Overton Fuller's book The Comte de Saint Germain.[30]

Trio Sonatas[edit]

Six sonatas for two violins with a bass for harpsichord or violoncello:

  • Op. 47 I. F major, 4/4, Molto adagio
  • Op. 48 II. B-flat major, 4/4, Allegro
  • Op. 49 III. E-flat major, 4/4, Adagio
  • Op. 50 IV. G minor, 4/4, Tempo giusto
  • Op. 51 V. G major, 4/4, Moderato
  • Op. 52 VI. A major, 3/4, Cantabile lento

Violin solos[edit]

Seven solos for solo violin:

  • Op. 53 I. B-flat major, 4/4, Largo
  • Op. 54 II. E major, 4/4, Adagio
  • Op. 55 III. C minor, 4/4, Adagio
  • Op. 56 IV. E-flat major, 4/4, Adagio
  • Op. 57 V. E-flat major, 4/4, Adagio
  • Op. 58 VI. A major, 4/4, Adagio
  • Op. 59 VII. B-flat major, 4/4, Adagio

English songs[edit]

  • Op. 4 The Maid That's Made for Love and Me (O Wouldst Thou Know What Sacred Charms). E-flat major (marked B-flat major), 3/4
  • Op. 5 It Is Not that I Love You Less. F major, 3/4
  • Op. 6 Gentle Love, This Hour Befriend Me. D major, 4/4
  • Op. 7 Jove, When He Saw My Fanny's Face. D major, 3/4

Italian arias[edit]

Numbered in order of their appearance in the Musique Raisonnee, with their page numbers in that volume.[31]

* An asterisk marks titles performed in L'Incostanza Delusa and published in the book of Favourite Songs from that opera.
  • Op. 1 IV, pp. 16–20. Senza pietà mi credi,* G major, 6/8 (marked 3/8 but there are 6 quavers to the bar)
  • Op. 2 VIII, pp. 36–39. Digli, digli,* D major, 3/4
  • Op. 3 IX, pp. 40–45. Per pieta bel Idol mio,* F major, 3/8
  • Op. 4/17 XIII, pp. 58–61. Se mai riviene, D minor, 3/4
  • Op. 8 I, pp. 1–5. Padre perdona, oh! pene, G minor, 4/4
  • Op. 9 II, pp. 6–10. Non piangete amarti, E major, 4/4
  • Op. 10 III, pp. 11–15. Intendo il tuo, F major, 4/4
  • Op. 11 V, pp. 21–26. Già, già che moria deggio, D major, 4/4
  • Op. 12 VI, pp. 27–31. Dille che l'amor mio,* E major, 4/4
  • Op. 13 VII, pp. 32–35. Mio ben ricordati, D major, 3/4
  • Op. 14 X, pp. 46–50. Non so, quel dolce moto, B major, 4/4
  • Op. 15 XI, pp. 51–55. Piango, è ver; ma non-procede, G minor, 4/4
  • Op. 16 XII, pp. 56–57. Dal labbro che t'accende, E major, 3/4
  • Op. 18 XIV, pp. 62–63. Parlerò; non-e permesso, E major, 4/4
  • Op. 19 XV, pp. 64–65. Se tutti i miei pensieri, A major, 4/4
  • Op. 20 XVI, pp. 66–67. Guadarlo, guaralo in volto, E major, 3/4
  • Op. 21 XVII, pp. 68–69. Oh Dio mancarmi, D major, 4/4
  • Op. 22 XVIII, pp. 70–71. Digli che son fedele, E major, 3/4
  • Op. 23 XIX, pp. 72–73. Pensa che sei cruda, E minor, 4/4
  • Op. 24 XX, pp. 74–75. Torna torna innocente, G major, 3/8
  • Op. 25 XXI, pp. 76–77. Un certo non-so che veggo, E major, 4/4
  • Op. 26 XXII, pp. 78–79. Guardami, guardami prima in volto, D major, 4/4
  • Op. 27 XXIII, pp. 80–81. Parto, se vuoi così, E major, 4/4
  • Op. 28 XXIV, pp. 82–83. Volga al Ciel se ti, D minor, 3/4
  • Op. 29 XXV, pp. 84–85. Guarda se in questa volta, F major, 4/4
  • Op. 30 XXVI, pp. 86–87. Quanto mai felice, D major, 3/4
  • Op. 31 XXVII, pp. 88–89. Ah che neldi'sti, D major, 4/4
  • Op. 32, XXVIII, pp. 90–91. Dopp'un tuo Sguardo, F major, 3/4
  • Op. 33 XXIX, pp. 92–93. Serberò fra' Ceppi, G major, 4/4
  • Op. 34 XXX, pp. 94–95. Figlio se più non-vivi moro, F major, 4/4
  • Op. 35 XXXI, pp. 96–98. Non ti respondo, C major, 3/4
  • Op. 36 XXXII, pp. 99–101. Povero cor perché palpito, G major, 3/4
  • Op. 37 XXXIII, pp. 102–105. Non v'è più barbaro, C minor, 3/8
  • Op. 38 XXXIV, pp. 106–108. Se de' tuoi lumi al fuoco amor, E major, 4/4
  • Op. 39 XXXV, pp. 109–111. Se tutto tosto me sdegno, E major, 4/4
  • Op. 40 XXXVI, pp. 112–115. Ai negli occhi un tel incanto, D major, 4/4 (marked 2/4 but there are 4 crotchets to the bar)
  • Op. 41 XXXVII, pp. 116–118. Come poteste de Dio, F major, 4/4
  • Op. 42 XXXVIII, pp. 119–121. Che sorte crudele, G major, 4/4
  • Op. 43 XXXIX, pp. 122–124. Se almen potesse al pianto, G minor, 4/4
  • Op. 44 XXXX, pp. 125–127. Se viver non-posso lunghi, D major, 3/8
  • Op. 45 XXXXI, pp. 128–130. Fedel faro faro cara cara, D major, 3/4
  • Op. 46 XXXXII, p. 131. Non ha ragione, F major, 4/4

Literature by the Count[edit]

Discounting the snippets of political intrigue, a few musical pieces, and one mystical poem, there are only two pieces of writing attributed to the Count: La Très Sainte Trinosophie and the untitled The Triangular Book of St. Germain (The Triangular Manuscript).

The first book attributed to the Count of Saint Germain is La Très Sainte Trinosophie, a beautifully illustrated 18th century manuscript that describes in symbolic terms a journey of spiritual initiation or an alchemical process, depending on the interpretation. This book has been published several times, most notably by Manly P. Hall, in Los Angeles, California, in 1933. The attribution to St. Germain rests on a handwritten note scrawled inside the cover of the original manuscript stating that this was a copy of a text once in St. Germain's possession.[11] However, despite Hall's elaborate introduction describing the Count's legend, The Most Holy Trinosophia shows no definitive connection to him.

The second work attributed to St. Germain is the untitled 18th century manuscript in the shape of a triangle. The two known copies of the Triangular Manuscript exist as Hogart Manuscript 209 and 210 (MS 209 and MS 210). Both currently reside in the Manly Palmer Hall Collection of Alchemical Manuscripts at the Getty Research Library.[32] Nick Koss decoded and translated this manuscript in 2011 and it was published as The Triangular Book of St. Germain by Ouroboros Press in 2015.[33] Unlike the first work, it mentions St. Germain directly as its originator. The book describes a magical ritual by which one can perform the two most extraordinary feats that characterized the legend of Count of St. Germain, namely procurement of great wealth and extension of life.

Literature about the Count[edit]


The best-known biography is Isabel Cooper-Oakley's The Count of St. Germain (1912), which gives a satisfactory biographical sketch. It is a compilation of letters, diaries, and private records written about the count by members of the French aristocracy who knew him in the 18th century. Another interesting biographical sketch can be found in The History of Magic, by Eliphas Levi, originally published in 1913.[34]

Numerous French and German biographies also have been published, among them Der Wiedergänger: Das zeitlose Leben des Grafen von Saint-Germain by Peter Krassa, Le Comte de Saint-Germain by Marie-Raymonde Delorme, and L'énigmatique Comte De Saint-Germain by Pierre Ceria and François Ethuin. In his work Sages and Seers (1959), Manly Palmer Hall refers to the biography Graf St.-Germain by E. M. Oettinger (1846).[35]

In fiction[edit]

The count has inspired a number of fictional creations:

  • He appears as a playable character in the Japanese otome game series Ikemen Vampire. In the series, he is the sire and the host for those who he has given a second lease in life including Napoleon Bonaparte, Isaac Newton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Vincent van Gogh, Theo Van Gogh, Jeanne d'Arc (who is named as Jean d'Arc and is a man), and Osamu Dazai. The series portrays him as a kind, mild-mannered, intelligent, respectable and respected nobleman of immeasurable wealth as well as a protective father or older sibling figure to all his residents including his human butler.
  • He appears as the Master manipulator behind the scenes in Katherine Kurtz' 1996 novel, Two Crowns for America, about America's fight for independence.
  • He figures prominently in various works by Japanese rock artist Kamijo, including the album Sang and the single "Persona Grata".[36]
  • He is a character in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, where he is a time traveler. He fights with Zead, who is the avatar of Death.
  • He is featured in Gold Keys Boris Karloff Thriller issue 3 ( april 1963 ) in " The Man who Lived Forever "
  • He is a character in Netflix's 2017 Castlevania, appearing as an itinerant magician in search of the "Infinite Corridor" voiced by Bill Nighy.
  • He is a significant character in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, specifically 1992's Dragonfly in Amber, and an apparent time traveler in Gabaldon's spin-off novella, "The Space Between".
  • He is introduced as a supporting character in the novel The Magician, the second book in the fantasy series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott.
  • He is mentioned in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army as a time agent, yet the player never meets him.
  • He is played by James Marsters in the TV series Warehouse 13. He is an immortal who used a ring with a gem from the Philosopher's stone used to revitalize plants and heal people to accumulate wealth throughout the ages. The ring was taken by Marie-Antoinette and buried in the Catacombs beneath Paris.
  • He is portrayed by Miya Rurika in the play Azure Moment by Takarazuka Revue.
  • He is the main antagonist in The Ruby Red Trilogy, written by Kerstin Gier. He is the founder of a secret lodge which is controlling people with a time-travelling gene, and he is trying to gain immortality through the said time-travellers.
  • He is the main character of the historical mystery novel based on his early adventures, The Man Who Would Not Die, written by Paul Andrews. He is presented as the son of Prince Rákóczi.[37]
  • He is the mentor and co-conspirator of the player in the 2022 indie adventure game Card Shark.[38]
  • He was referenced as a villain in the fourth season of the anime Symphogear, along with Alessandro Cagliostro and François Prelati, all portrayed as women.
  • Hoshino Katsura used him as inspiration for the character of the Millennium Earl in the manga series D. Gray Man.
  • In Kōta Hirano's Drifters, the character of count Saint Germi is inspired by him. He is voiced by Tomokazu Sugita in the anime adaptation.
  • In Master of Mosquiton Mosquiton's enemy is an immortal demon loosely based on the Count of St. Germain.
  • In the BBC podcast The Lovecraft Investigations, he is revealed to be the mortal guise of Nyarlathotep and a central antagonist of the series.
  • In the light novel Fate/strange fake, he was Richard the Lionheart's court mage and mentor, who claimed to be nothing more than an aristocrat and a swindler while also owning a car, claiming to have met Alexander the Great, and being able to sense and talk to the person witnessing the flashback of his first meeting with King Richard.
  • In the manga The Case Study of Vanitas, Noe's teacher and Dominique's grandfather tells them he is currently going by that name.
  • In the novelization The Night Strangler, from the TV film of the same title, it is strongly hinted that the immortal villain, Dr. Richard Malcolm, is actually the Count St. Germain. When asked directly, Malcolm laughs ironically but does not deny it.[39]
  • In The Red Lion: The Elixer of Life by Maria Szepes, he appears as Saint Germain
  • In the tabletop role-playing game Unknown Armies by John Scott Tynes and Greg Stolze, he is the First and Last Man, the only immortal character in the setting, whose lifespan encompasses the first and last lives of human beings.
  • Prominent Bengali fiction author Shariful Hasan made the character Count Saint Germain in his Samvala Trilogy inspired by him.
  • Robert Rankin's character Professor Slocombe, in the various books of The Brentford Trilogy, is often described as bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Comte; when the Professor annotates the Comte's ancient notebooks, even the handwriting is nearly identical. Another character, now quite old, born in the Victorian era, has stated that Professor Slocombe was an old man even then.
  • The character of Agliè in the novel Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco is an occultist who claims to be the Count St. Germain.[40]
  • The character of Jack Elderflower in the novel Gather the Fortunes, by Bryan Camp.
  • The Comte is a significant character in the Victorian time-travel novella, A Peculiar Count in Time, by M .K. Beutymhill.
  • The Comte is the main protagonist in an ongoing series of historical romance/horror novels by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
  • The Count appears in two novels by Andrzej Sarwa: Wieszczba krwawej głowy (The Prophetess of the Bloody Head) and Cmentarz św. Medarda (Saint Medard's Graveyard).
  • The German writer Karl May wrote two stories with the Graf von Saint Germain appearing as antagonist: Aqua benedetta (1877) and its largely extended version Ein Fürst des Schwindels (1880).[41]
  • The mystic in the Alexander Pushkin story "The Queen of Spades".
  • The visual novel Code: Realize − Guardian of Rebirth depicts him as an eccentric aristocrat hosting Arsène Lupin, Impey Barbicane, Victor Frankenstein, and Van Helsing in his manor.
  • In the Damian Paladin stories by Mike Chinn he appears as a quasi immortal who has some unspecified past grievances with Paladin and Andy Raven.

The Count in Theosophy[edit]

Count Saint Germain (also sometimes referred to as Master Rákóczi or Master R) is a legendary spiritual master of the ancient wisdom in various Theosophical and post-Theosophical teachings, said to be responsible for the New Age culture of the Age of Aquarius and identified with the Count Saint Germain (fl. 1710–1784), who has been variously described as a courtier, adventurer, inventor, alchemist, pianist, violinist, and amateur composer.


Some write that the name St. Germain invented for himself was a French version of the Latin Sanctus Germanus, meaning "Holy Brother".[42][43][44] In the Ascended Master Teachings (but not in traditional Theosophy), the Master R, or the Master Rákóczi, is a separate and distinct being from St. Germain.

Literature about St. Germain[edit]


There are several "authoritative" biographers on St. Germain who usually do not agree with one another. Probably the two best-known biographies are Isabel Cooper-Oakley's The Count of St. Germain (1912), and Jean Overton-Fuller's The Comte de Saint-Germain: Last Scion of the House of Rakoczy (1988). The former is a compilation of letters, diaries, and private records written about the Count by members of the French aristocracy who knew him in the 18th century.

Raymond Bernard's book The Great Secret – St. Germain is biographical and covers many aspects of the Count's life, including his conflation with Sir Francis Bacon, and the author of the Shakespearean opus. The Great Secret, Count St. Germain purports that St. Germain was actually Francis Bacon by birth, and later authored the complete Plays attributed to Shakespeare. Bernard also contends, as does the Saint Germain Foundation in Schaumburg, Illinois, that Francis Bacon was the child of Queen Elizabeth and Lord Dudley but that it was kept quiet. According to this theory, Francis was raised by the Bacon family, yet knew of his true birth, and left numerous hints throughout the Shakespearean canon of this, in the form of explicit clues in the text of the plays, in pictures, and in the alleged use of Bacon's cipher in the works. Manly Palmer Hall, in his The Secret Teachings of All Ages, describes some of the same attributes as Bernard, including the attribution of the writings of Shakespeare to a great adept like Francis Bacon, who could be amalgamated with the Count of St. Germain.

There have also been numerous French and German biographies, among them Der Wiedergänger: Das zeitlose Leben des Grafen von Saint-Germain by Peter Krassa, Le Comte de Saint-Germain by Marie-Raymonde Delorme, and L'énigmatique Comte De Saint-Germain by Pierre Ceria and François Ethuin.

Books claimed by Guy Ballard to have been dictated to him by Saint Germain[edit]

Saint Germain is the central figure in a series of books published by the Saint Germain Press (the publishing arm of the Saint Germain Foundation). The first two volumes, Unveiled Mysteries and The Magic Presence, written by Guy Ballard as "Godfré Ray King", describe Saint Germain as an Ascended master, like Jesus, who is assisting humanity. In these first two books, Ballard discusses his personal experiences with Saint Germain and reveals many teachings that are in harmony with Theosophy. The third volume, The 'I AM' Discourses, contains material that is foundational to the sacred scriptures of the "I AM" Religious Activity, founded in 1930 – the first of the Ascended Master Teachings religions.

There are 20 volumes in the Saint Germain Series of Books, which are also referred to as the "Green Books". Another significant work, the Comte de Gabalis, is said to be from the hand of Sir Francis Bacon before he Ascended and returned as Sanctus Germanus or Saint Germain. First printed in 1670, the book includes a picture of the Polish Rider, Rembrandt's famous painting at the Frick Collection in New York City, which is said to be of Sir Francis Bacon, AKA the Comte de Gabalis, or the Count of the Cabala. Lotus Ray King (Edna Ballard's pen name), wife of Guy Ballard, talked about this book having been authored by the Ascended Master Saint Germain in the Round Table Talks of the "I AM" Religious Activity.

Claimed encounters with Saint Germain[edit]

Several Theosophists and practitioners of alternate esoteric traditions have claimed to have met Saint Germain in the late 19th or early 20th centuries:

  • Annie Besant said that she met the Count in 1896.
  • C. W. Leadbeater claimed to have met him in Rome in 1926 and gave a physical description of him as having brown eyes, olive colored skin, and a pointed beard; according to Leadbeater, "the splendour of his Presence impels men to make obeisance".[45] Leadbeater said that Saint Germain showed him a robe that had been previously owned by a Roman Emperor and that Saint Germain told him that one of his residences was a castle in Transylvania. According to Leadbeater, when performing magical rituals in his castle in Transylvania, Saint Germain wears "a suit of golden chain-mail which once belonged to a Roman Emperor; over it is thrown a magnificent cloak of Tyrian purple, with on its clasp a seven-pointed star in diamond and amethyst, and sometimes he wears a glorious robe of violet."[46]
  • David Christopher Lewis, living spiritual teacher, claims that Saint Germain first came to him in person on 10 June 2004 in his home in Paradise Valley, Montana, and continued to come many times thereafter.[47]
  • David Narozny, living Czech music composer, claims to have met St Germain in Pruhonice on 23 May 2014.
  • Dorothy Leon, living author, has claimed to have had several encounters with Saint Germain and is an avowed disciple of his.
  • Edgar Cayce, the "Sleeping Prophet", was asked while in trance if Saint Germain was present. Cayce's reply was: "When needed." (From reading # 254–83 on 14 February 1935.)
  • Guy Ballard, founder of the "I AM" Activity, claimed that he met Saint Germain on Mount Shasta in California in August 1930, and that this initiated his "training" and experiences with other Ascended masters in various parts of the world.[48]
  • Miroslav Zimmer, living poet, claim to have met St Germain in the Malá Fatra mountains in Slovakia in 2011 in the company of a Sam Bennett.
  • Peter Mt. Shasta, living spiritual teacher and author, claims that Saint Germain materialized before him in Muir Woods, Marin County, California, as well as many other times, some of which encounters he documents in his book.[49]

Esoteric activities[edit]

Many groups honor Saint Germain as a supernatural being called a Master of the Ancient Wisdom or an Ascended master. In the Ascended Master Teachings he is referred to simply as Saint Germain, or as the Ascended Master Saint Germain. As an Ascended Master, Saint Germain is believed to have many magical powers such as the ability to teleport, levitate, walk through walls, and to inspire people by telepathy, among others.

The Theosophical Society after Blavatsky's death considered him to be a Mahatma, Master of the Ancient Wisdom, or Adept. Helena Blavatsky said that he was one of her Masters of Wisdom and hinted that he had given her secret documents. Some esoteric groups credit him with inspiring the Founding Fathers to draft the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as providing the design of the Great Seal of the United States.[50]

In New Age beliefs, Saint Germain is associated with the color violet, the jewel amethyst, and the Maltese cross rendered in violet (usually the iron cross style cross patee version). He is also regarded as the "Chohan of the Seventh Ray".[51] According to The Theosophical Society, the Seven Rays are seven metaphysical principles that govern both individual souls and the unfolding of each 2,158-year-long Astrological Age. Since according to Theosophy, the next Astrological Age, the Age of Aquarius, will be governed by the Seventh (Violet) Ray (the Ray of Ceremonial Order), Saint Germain is sometimes called "The Hierarch of the Age of Aquarius". According to the Ascended Master Teachings, Saint Germain is "The God of Freedom for this system of worlds". According to the Ascended Master Teachings, the preliminary lead-up to the beginning of the Age of Aquarius began on 1 July 1956, when Ascended Master Saint Germain became the Hierarch of the Age of Aquarius, replacing the former Astrological age Hierarch, the Ascended Master Jesus, who had been for almost 2,000 years the "Hierarch of the Age of Pisces".

In the works authored by Alice A. Bailey, Saint Germain is called Master Rakóczi or the Master R.[52] In the Ascended Master Teachings, the Master Rakoczi, otherwise known as the Great Divine Director, is regarded as Saint Germain's teacher in the Great White Brotherhood of Ascended Masters. Alice A. Bailey's book The Externalisation of the Hierarchy (a compilation of earlier revelations published posthumously in 1957) gives the most information about his reputed role as a Spiritual Master. Saint Germain's spiritual title is said to be Lord of Civilization, and his task is the establishment of the new civilization of the Age of Aquarius.[53] He is said to telepathically influence people who are seen by him as being instrumental in bringing about the new civilization of the Age of Aquarius. Alice A. Bailey stated that "sometime after AD 2025," the Jesus, the Master Rakóczi (Saint Germain), Kuthumi, and others in the Spiritual Hierarchy would "externalise", i.e., descend from the spiritual worlds, and interact in visible tangible bodies on the Earth in ashrams, surrounded by their disciples.[54]

Alice A. Bailey said that St. Germain is the "manager of the executive council of the Christ".[55](Theosophists regard "the Master Jesus" and "Christ" as two separate and distinct beings. They believe in the Gnostic Christology espoused by Cerinthus (fl. c. 100 AD), according to which "Christ" is a being who was incarnated in Jesus only during the three years of the ministry of Jesus.) According to certain Theosophists, "Christ" is identified as being a highly developed spiritual entity whose actual name is Maitreya. This Maitreya is the same being known in Buddhism as the Bodhisattva Maitreya, who is in training to become the next Buddha on Earth. According to Alice A. Bailey, the "executive council of the Christ" is a specific subgroup of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, charged with preparing the way for the Second Coming of Christ and the consequent inauguration of the Age of Aquarius.

Previous incarnations[edit]

According to The Theosophical Society (not to be confused with the United Lodge of Theosophists) and the Ascended Master Teachings, Saint Germain was incarnated as the following. (Note: Not all Theosophical and Ascended Master Teaching groups accept all of these incarnations as valid. St. Germain's incarnations as St. Alban, Proclus, Roger Bacon and Sir Francis Bacon are universally accepted.[56]

  • Ruler of a Golden Age civilization centered in a city called "The City of the Sun" 70,000 years ago located in the then-lush and verdant area that is now the Sahara Desert, originally a colony sent out from Atlantis.
  • High priest in the civilization of Atlantis 13,000 years ago, serving in the Order of Lord Zadkiel in the Temple of Purification, located in an Atlantean colony that had been sent out from the main island of Atlantis that had been established on the island now called Cuba.
  • Samuel, 11th-century BC religious leader in Israel who served as prophet, priest, and last of the Hebrew judges.
  • Hesiod, Greek poet whose writings serve as a major source of insight into Greek mythology and cosmology (c. 700 BC).
  • Plato, Philosopher who studied with students of Pythagoras and scholars in Egypt. He established his own school of philosophy at the Academy in Athens. (427–347 BC).
  • Saint Joseph, 1st century AD, Nazareth. Husband of Mary and guardian of Jesus.
  • Saint Alban, late 3rd or early 4th century, town of Verulamium, renamed St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. First British martyr – he had sheltered a fugitive priest, became a devout convert, and was put to death for disguising himself as the priest so that he could die in his place.
  • Proclus, c. 410 – 485 AD. Athens. The last major Greek Neoplatonic philosopher. He headed the Platonic Academy and wrote extensively on philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and grammar.
  • Merlin. Mythical magician and counselor at King Arthur's Camelot who inspired the establishment of the Order of the Knights of the Round Table.
  • Roger Bacon, c. 1220–1292 AD, England. Philosopher, educational reformer, and experimental scientist. Forerunner of modern science renowned for his exhaustive investigations into alchemy, optics, mathematics, and languages.[57]
  • Organizer behind the scenes for the Secret Societies in Germany in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. The creation of a possibly fictional character named "Christian Rosenkreuz" was inspired by his efforts.
  • Christopher Columbus, 1451–1506 AD. Believed to have been born in Genoa, Italy and settled in Portugal. Landed in the Americas in 1492 during the first of four voyages to the New World sponsored by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain
  • Francis Bacon, 1561–1626, England. Philosopher, statesman, essayist and literary master, author of the Shakespearean plays (according to the Ascended Master Teachings), father of inductive science, and herald of the scientific revolution.

Ascension into masterhood[edit]

According to the Ascended Master Teachings, Francis Bacon faked his own death on Easter Sunday, 9 April 1626, and even attended his own funeral in disguise. It is believed by the adherents of the Ascended Master Teachings that he then traveled secretly to Transylvania (then part of Hungary, now part of Romania) to the Rakoczy Mansion of the noble family of Hungary. Finally, on 1 May 1684, he is believed to have attained (by his knowledge of alchemy) his physical Ascension (attaining immortality and eternal youth—the sixth level of Initiation), at which time Francis Bacon adopted the name "Saint Germain".[58]

Skeptical view[edit]

The scholar K. Paul Johnson maintains that the "Masters" that Madame Blavatsky wrote about and produced letters from were actually idealizations of people who were her mentors.[59]

Also see the article "Talking to the Dead and Other Amusements" by Paul Zweig, The New York Times, 5 October 1980, which maintains that Madame Blavatsky's revelations were fraudulent.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Count of St. Germain", Johan Franco, Musical Quarterly (1950) XXXVI(4): 540-550
  2. ^ Hall, Manley P. (preface) The Music of the Comte de St.Germain Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1981
  3. ^ Isabel Cooper Oakley, p45
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hunter, David (2003). "Monsieur le Comte de Saint-Germain: The Great Pretender". The Musical Times. 144 (1885): 40–44. doi:10.2307/3650726. JSTOR 3650726.
  5. ^ Spellings used are those given in The Comte de St. Germain by Isabel Cooper-Oakley
  6. ^ Oliver, George (1855). A Dictionary of Symbolic Masonry: Including the Royal Arch Degree; According to the System Prescribed by the Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter of England. Jno. W. Leonard. p. 10.
  7. ^ "Comte de Saint-Germain | Britannica". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  8. ^ Frederick II. "Correspondance avec M. de Voltaire." Oevres Posthumes de Frederic II. Tome XIV. Amsterdam, 1789. Pages 255 - 257
  9. ^ S. A. Le Landgrave Charles, Prince de Hesse, Mémoires de Mon Temps, p. 135. Copenhagen, 1861.
  10. ^ The Comte de St. Germain by Isabel Cooper-Oakley. Milan, Italy: Ars Regia, 1912.
  11. ^ a b c d Franco, Johan (1950). "The Count of St. Germain". The Musical Quarterly. 36 (4): 540–550. doi:10.1093/mq/xxxvi.4.540. JSTOR 739641.
  12. ^ S. A. Le Landgrave Charles, Prince de Hesse, Mémoires de Mon Temps, p. 133. Copenhagen, 1861.
  13. ^ Chrissochoidis, Ilias. "The Music of the Count of St. Germain: An Edition" (PDF). Retrieved 8 February 2024.
  14. ^ "Letter to Sir Horace Mann". Project Gutenberg. 9 December 1745.
  15. ^ a b c The Yale edition of Horace Walpole correspondence (1712–1784), vol 26, pp20-21
  16. ^ Isabel Cooper Oakley, The Comte de St. Germain: the secret of kings (1912), p.94
  17. ^ "The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoires of Casanova, Complete, by Jacques Casanova de Seingalt". Retrieved 30 April 2013 – via Project Gutenberg.
  18. ^ Gedenkschriften van G.J. Hardenbroek, deel I, p. 160-161, 220-221
  19. ^ Forgotten Sources of Information about Dutch Porcelain by NANNE OTTEMA
  20. ^ Isabel Cooper Oakley, The Comte de St. Germain: the secret of kings (1912), pp.111-27 and Appendices
  21. ^ David Pratt (September 2012). "The Count of Saint-Germain". Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  22. ^ National Archives, p. 11
  23. ^ The memoirs of Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel, (Mémories de mon temps. Dicté par S.A. le Landgrave Charles, Prince de Hesse. Imprimés comme Manuscrit, Copenhagen, 1861). von Lowzow, 1984, pp. 306-8.
  24. ^ Letter from Charles of Hesse-Kassel to Prince Christian of Hesse-Darmstadt, 17 April 1825. von Lowzow, 1984, p. 328.
  25. ^ von Lowzow, 1984, p. 309.
  26. ^ von Lowzow, 1984, p. 323.
  27. ^ 10 thaler for renting the plot for 30 years, 2 thaler for the gravedigger, and 12 marks to the bell-ringer. von Lowzow, 1984, p. 324.
  28. ^ Schleswig-Holsteinischen Anzeigen auf da Jahr 1784, Glückstadt, 1784, pp. 404, 451. von Lowzow, 1984, pp. 324-25.
  29. ^ Overton-Fuller, Jean. The Comte De Saint-Germain. Last Scion of the House of Rakoczy. London, UK: East-West Publications, 1988. Pages 290-296.
  30. ^ Overton-Fuller, Jean. The Comte De Saint-Germain. Last Scion of the House of Rakoczy. London, UK: East-West Publications, 1988. Pages 310-312.
  31. ^ Saint-Germain, Count de (1981). Hall, Manley (ed.). The Music of the Comte St. Germain. Los Angeles, California: Philosophical Research Society.
  32. ^ CIFA: Search Form Archived 12 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  33. ^ "TRIANGULAR BOOK OF ST. GERMAIN | Ouroboros Press". Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  34. ^ Levi, Eliphas. The History of Magic. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1999. ISBN 978-0-87728-929-6.
  35. ^ Hall, Manly P. Sages and Seers. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1959. ISBN 978-0-89314-393-0.
  36. ^ "Interview with KAMIJO". JaME. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  37. ^ Andrews, Paul The Man Who Would Not Die. Smashwords, 2014. ISBN 978-1-310-54765-2.
  38. ^ "Card Shark". 29 May 2022.
  39. ^ Rice, Jeff. The Night Strangler. New York City: Pocket Books, 1974. ISBN 978-0-671-78352-5.
  40. ^ Eco, Umberto Foucault's Pendulum. London: Random House, 2001. ISBN 978-0-09-928715-5.
  41. ^ Online texts of Aqua benedetta and Ein Fürst des Schwindels
  42. ^ Schroeder, Werner Ascended Masters and Their Retreats Ascended Master Teaching Foundation 2004, pages 250 – 255
  43. ^ Luk, A.D.K.. Law of Life – Book II. Pueblo, Colorado: A.D.K. Luk Publications 1989, pages 254 – 267
  44. ^ Booth, Annice The Masters and Their Retreats Summit Lighthouse Library June 2003, pages 312 – 322
  45. ^ Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path. Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1927 (Revised from 1925 edition) (Reprint: Kessinger Publishing, 1997) Page 32
  46. ^ Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path. Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1927 (Revised from 1925 edition) (Reprint: Kessinger Publishing, 1997) Page 240
  47. ^ "Saint Germain on Advanced Alchemy" (Meru Press, 2015)
  48. ^ King, Godfre Ray. Unveiled Mysteries. Chicago, Illinois: Saint Germain Press 1934
  49. ^ Peter Mt. Shasta. "Adventures of a Western Mystic: Apprentice to the Masters, Book II:" Church of the Seven Rays 2010
  50. ^ Hall, Manly P. The Secret Teachings of All Ages "An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings Concealed within the Rituals, Allegories and Mysteries of all Ages" H.S. Crocker Company, Inc. 1928 See chapter on "St. Germain"
  51. ^ "Saint Germain" (claimed to have been dictated by St. Germain to Mark Prophet) Studies in Alchemy Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA: 1974 Summit Lighthouse. See occult biographical (actually hagiographical) sketch of Saint Germain, pages 80–90 (The original edition of this book is printed in violet type on cream colored paper.)
  52. ^ Bailey, Alice A, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire (Section Three – Division A – Certain Basic Statements), 1932, Lucis Trust. 1925, p 1237
  53. ^ Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy New York:1957—Lucis Press (Compilation of earlier revelations by Alice A. Bailey) Page 667
  54. ^ Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy New York:1957—Lucis Press (Compilation of earlier revelations by Alice A. Bailey) Page 530
  55. ^ Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy New York:1957—Lucis Press (Compilation of earlier revelations by Alice A. Bailey) Page 508
  56. ^ "Qui est le Maître Saint-Germain ? (Who is Master Saint-Germain?)" (in French). Retrieved 8 February 2024.
  57. ^ Although C.W. Leadbeater claims that Roger Bacon was a past incarnation of Saint Germain and the Church Universal and Triumphant (the main Ascended Master Teachings religion) also accepts this, some sources and some Ascended Master Activities believe that Roger Bacon was a past incarnation of the Ascended Master El Morya
  58. ^ "Saint Germain" (claimed by the Church Universal and Triumphant to have been dictated by Saint Germain to Mark Prophet) Studies in Alchemy Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA: 1974 Summit Lighthouse. See occult biologographical sketch of history of Saint Germain, pages 80–90
  59. ^ Johnson, Paul K. Initiates of Theosophical Masters (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995)

Further reading[edit]

  • Chrissochoidis, Ilias. "The Music of the Count of St. Germain: An Edition", Society for Eighteenth-Century Music Newsletter 16 (April 2010), [6–7].
  • Cooper-Oakley, Isabella. The Comte De Saint Germain, the Secret of Kings. 2nd ed. London: Whitefriars Press, 1912.
  • d'Adhemar, Madame Comtesse le. "Souvenirs Sur Marie-Antoinette." Paris: Impremerie de Bourgogne et Martinet, 1836.
  • Fleming, Thomas. "The Magnificent Fraud." American Heritage, February 2006 (2006).
  • Hausset, Madame du. "The Private Memoirs of Louis XV: Taken from the Memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, Lady's Maid to Madame De Pompadour." ed Nichols Harvard University, 1895.
  • Hunter, David. "The Great Pretender." Musical Times, no. Winter 2003 (2003).
  • Marie Antoinette von Lowzow, Saint-Germain – Den mystiske greve, Dansk Historisk Håndbogsforlag, Copenhagen, 1984. ISBN 978-87-88742-04-6. (in Danish).
  • Melton, J. Gordon Encyclopedia of American Religions 5th Edition New York:1996 Gale Research ISBN 978-0-8103-7714-1 ISSN 1066-1212 Chapter 18--"The Ancient Wisdom Family of Religions" Pages 151–158; see chart on page 154 listing Masters of the Ancient Wisdom; Also see Section 18, Pages 717-757 Descriptions of various Ancient Wisdom religious organizations
  • Pope-Hennessey, Una. The Comte De Saint-Germain. Reprint ed, Secret Societies and the French Revolution. Together with Some Kindred Studies by Una Birch. Lexington, Kentucky: Forgotten Books, 1911.
  • SAINT GERMAIN ON ADVANCED ALCHEMY, by David Christopher Lewis, Meru press, ISBN 978-0-9818863-5-0
  • Saint-Germain, Count de, ed. The Music of the Comte St.Germain. Edited by Manley Hall. Los Angeles, California: Philosophical Research Society, 1981.
  • Saint-Germain, Count de. The Most Holy Trinosophia. Forgotten Books, N.D. Reprint, 2008.
  • Slemen, Thomas. Strange but True. London: Robinson Publishing, 1998.
  • Walpole, Horace. "Letters of Horace Walpole." ed Charles Duke Yonge. New York: Putman's Sons, 9 December 1745.

External links[edit]