Star of the Sea Painted Church
Pahoa Kalapana Road, Kalapana, Big Island, Hawaii
A modest little church from the outside. A beautiful folk art masterpiece on the inside. The Star of the Sea Painted Church was built in 1928 and the colorful interior frescoes depict the story of Saint Damien of Molokai who came to Puna, Hawaii in 1864. The upper section frescoes were lovingly painted by Father Evarest Gielen, a Belgian Catholic missionary priest, and the bottom panels were completed by Georgia artist George Heidler. In 1990, the Star of the Sea Church was nearly destroyed in a lava flow. Thankfully, the entire church was moved just in the nick of time, and its gorgeous artwork saved for posterity.