St Benedict's - The Painted Church is located in South Kona, Captain Cook, Hawaii near Honaunau. I always love dropping by this church high above the ocean.
The Catholic church has been a part of life in South Kona since 1842. The first church was located on the shore of Honaunau near the City of Refuge and was known as St. Francis Regis chapel. By the mid 1880's most of the folks had moved away from the beach to the cooler climate and more fertile soil to be found a bit higher on the slopes of Mauna Loa. Father John Berchmans Velghe, A Sacred Hearts father from Belgium, arrived in 1899 and decided to follow the local residents up the mountain slope. The folks dismantled the church and with the help of mules, moved it to its present location.
Father Velghe, a self-taught artist, painted the interior walls of the church. His three dimensional interior painting was inspired by the gothic cathedral of Burgos in Spain. His painting of scenes from the bible and the lives of the saints were very important teaching tools in a time when many people couldn't read and write. Throughout church history cathedrals and churches have been adorned with paintings, stained glass windows and statuary that told stories from the old and new testaments and about the lives of others from both Hebrew and Christian tradition.
Each of the supporting columns is octagonal, and is painted red, splotched green and yellow to suggest marble. Encircling each column is a painted white ribbon, bearing, in the Hawaiian language, one of the mottoes of St. Benedict's medal. The inscriptions are as follows:
1) O ke kea hemolele kou malamalama. (The Holy Cross be my light)
2) Hele oe pela a Satana. (Begone Satan!)
3) He poino kou mea i ninini mai ai. (You have poured forth trouble. The inscription on the medal reads "Do not suggest to me thy vanities")
4) Aole o Satana kou alakai. (Satan is not your guide. The medal reads "Let not the dragon be my guide")
5) Ua oki oe me kou pau wale. (Stop with your perishable things. The medal reads "Evil are the things thou profferest")
6) Nau no e inu kou poino. (Drink your own misfortune. The medal reads "Drink your own poison")