Franciscan monk Csaba Böjte received the prestigious Makovecz award for his decades of work raising orphaned children in Transylvania.
Named after Imre Makovecz (1935-2011), one of Hungary’s most famous architects and one of the most prominent proponents of organic architecture, the award recognizes “persistent work carried out in the spirit of Imre Makovecz.” It is awarded jointly by the Makovecz Imre Foundation, the Hungarian Academy of Arts, and the Kós Károly Association.
In its laudation, the awarding committee said that “during his mission in caring for orphaned children, (Böjte) is carrying out exactly the kind of program that best corresponds with Makovecz’s (idea) of active spirituality.”
Böjte (60) is an ethnic Hungarian Franciscan monk. He established the Saint Francis Foundation and adjacent orphanage in Déva/Deva in central Romania in 1992, when he illegally occupied a Franciscan monastery there that has been abandoned for decades. Böjte stayed there despite repeated eviction attempts by the Romanian authorities. His orphanage has since grown into a nationwide network, which currently cares for 2,500 children – those who are orphaned or with parents living in deep poverty who cannot support their families. The foundation has also placed another several hundred children in homes via a foster parent scheme.
Title image: Csaba Böjte in September 2019 (photo: Dénes Albert)