Star of the Sea Church, Pahoa, Puna.

Star of the Sea Church


Known locally as the 'Painted Church,' this historic Catholic chapel is noted for its collection of murals including a simple trompe l'oeil cathedral behind the altar. Built in 1928 in Kalapana, it was nearly consumed by advancing lava in May of 1990. Residents scrambled through the night to load the church onto a truck and clear the highway of low branches and power lines to move it to safety. It is now located off Hwy 130 at Mile 20.

The murals depict a blend of Catholic and Native Hawaiian history and mythology.

Beyond its interior decorating, the church is also noted for a cursory connection to the first priest in Kalapana, Father Damien, whose legendary work on Molokaʻi with leprosy patients combined with his posthumous miracles led to his canonization in 1990. Find him depicted here in stained glass.

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