This is a stunning little church in the middle of, well – nowhere. Actually its opposite a Noni farm.
I went inside and found some amazing Naive style paintings depicting scenes of a leper colony and their relationship with Father Damien who had come to Puna in 1864.
It’s location is on Highway 130 in Kalapana area. Apparently it was built between 1927 -1928 and the Artist responsible for the lower panels was George Heidler from Athens, Georgia. Father Evarist Gielen from Belgium painted the upper section interior.
There was a huge lava flow in 1990 that affected the Kalapana area so because of this the church had to move to its present location now.
The locals refer to this church as “The Painted Church” but don’t get confused with the other painted church which is located on the Kona side of the Big Island. The official name for this painted church of Puna is actually “The Star of the Sea Painted Church.”
Walking into this church I found it to be so full of character and color and personality not to mention the history of such an enchanting and quaint little church. I hope my photo’s do justice to this little monument of peace and love.