The Count of Saint Germain was a real life, never-aging adventurer of the 18th. If you prefer the French, he was le Comte de St-Germain, in German, der Wunderman. Alchemist, spy, composer, diplomat, and general enigma, the mysterious Count was an actual historic figure, with adventures across 18th century Europe and beyond. Throughout all this time, he never appeared to age. He is also the main character of “The Man Who Would Not Die,” my historical novel.
The Count is but one of the many instances of this familiar French-sounding name. Here are some of the others you may or may not recognize:
My absolute favorite place in Paris. A popular and historic Left Bank Faubourg, known for its cafes, shops, and wide, tree-lined Boulevard Saint Germain. It sits across the River Siene from the Louvre Museum and surrounds the church of the former Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris, named for … well, I am getting ahead of myself. Read on.
An affluent French commune located in the northwest suburbs of Paris, on the banks of a hairpin loop in the River Seine. Prior to the French Revolution, its fabulous Chateau Neuf, was the residence of numerous French kings, including Henry II and a young and future Sun King, Louis XIV. Today, it houses the Museum of Archeology. The area surrounding the town contains the National Forest Saint German-en-Laye.
Known simply as PSG to its many fans, a HUGELY popular professional football (soccer) club based in Paris. Also known as the Red and the Blue, they compete in the top League 1 and have won 9 League titles. They are the most successful football club in all of France, and the second most popular after its arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille. They play at the Parc des Princes.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
American novelist who has penned a long series of historical romance novels with none other than Count Saint-Germain as her tortured protagonist. She portrays the Count as an immortal vampire, who has lived since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, with numerous beautiful and tragic lovers throughout the centuries. Each book in her extensive series (27 and counting) is based on the Count in a different time period.
St. Germain, the liqueur
A delicious and expensive French liqueur in a classy and distinctive art deco bottle. Started in 2007, it is delicately flavored with European elder flowers picked each Spring, and currently owned by none other than Bacardi. Sip it as a liquor; or a shot goes quite well in a glass of dry white wine, French champagne or any number of mixed drinks, including the highly recommended French Martini or Green Margarita. Sante! Cheers!
Both a hot beverage and a remedy all in one. Created by Count Saint Germain himself for the Russian Navy during its long wars with the Ottoman/Turkish Empire in the late 18th century. A blended tea of equal parts crushed senna pods, elder flowers, and ground fennel seeds [Recipe]. Careful, physicians used it as an 18th century purge! Similar blends are still sold today as an herbal remedy for mild irregularity.
A delicious, creamy French soup of pureed peas, spinach and leeks [Recipe]. Originally served to French King Louis XIV and available today in many Left Bank French restaurants. Garnish each bowl with freshly grated parmesan cheese or a dollop of sour cream. Best served with a hot loaf of crusty French bread and a glass of dry Sherry in a Parisian sidewalk cafe. Bon Appetit mon amie!
Treaty of Saint Germain
One of several treaties which ended World War I, the so called ‘War to End All Wars.’ It was signed by British, French, American Allies and Austria on 10 September 1919 in the aforementioned Chateau Neuf in St. Germain-en-Laye. The treaty declared that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved, and war reparations were to be paid to the Allies. The more famous World War I Treaty of Versailles was signed between the three Allies and Germany just a few months earlier.
Saint Germain Foundation®
A religious organization based on the principles of Theosophy, founded by Madame Helena Blavatsky. It bases its doctrines on the teaching of Guy Ballard in the 1930’s. The organization’s philosophy is known as the “I Am” Activity® and has spawned numerous spiritual splinter groups over time including the Summit Lighthouse the Church Universal and Triumphant. They consider Count Saint Germain to be one of their Ascended Masters, living on in an astral plane.
St. Germain, the US town
A charming town in the heart of America’s Wisconsin Northwoods, settled by French fur traders in the 1600s and surrounded by over 1300 small lakes and streams. For the outdoor lover, St. Germain boasts year round activities including fishing, hunting, boating, and kayaking. During their famously cold and robust winters throw in snowmobiling, and of course cross-country skiing.
And last but not least, the original Catholic Saint, known as the ‘Father of the Poor.’ As a priest, he was first the abbot of an abbey, later ordained Bishop of Paris in the year 555 by French King Childebert. He was canonized after his death in 754. St. Germain was well known for his overly generous alms-giving to the French poor. For centuries his relics were carried through the streets in times of plaque and war. He is buried in the crypt of the Left Bank abbey church in Paris that bears his now familiar name. His Catholic Feast Day is May 28th.
So there you have it, ten familiar instances of ‘Saint Germain’ scattered around the world. But let us not forget the mysterious Count of Saint Germain, where our journey first began.