As you make your way from Hawaii’s remarkable Place of Refuge, don’t miss this hidden gem just up the hill: St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church, better known as The Painted Church. It is a charming tiny building, embraced by lush foliage.
The church dates back to the mid-1800s, when foreign missionaries were allowed to operate on the islands after the fall of the kapu system, an extensive set of taboos that governed the Hawaiian islands for generations.
As the 20th century dawned, Father John Velge, a transplant from Belgium with no formal art training, picked up some house paint and set off to transform his modest church into a miniature cathedral. A number of his parishioners could not read, so Father John had the walls tell the stories. The end result is fascinating: quaint but undeniably beautiful.