Father John Berchmans Velge and the Painted Church

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Father John Berchmans Velge and the Painted Church Markopolo 8/9/11 12:02 PM


website for the Painted Church

St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church was originally built in 1842, almost 2 miles to the West in Honaunau as St. Francis Regis Chapel, by French missionary priest Father Joachim Marechal. Another French Catholic priest, Father Aloys Lorteau, took up the parish in 1859 following the death of Father Joachim. Belgian Father John Berchmans Velge replaced Father Aloys in December 1902, and moved the chapel up the hill to the East, following the move inland of many of his parishioners. Some of the parishioners were unable to read the Bible, so Father John painted several murals on the walls of the church to illustrate visually the concepts of Hell, a Good Death, the Temptation of Christ, and several other basic Catholic concepts. Without any formal art training, and using only ordinary house paints, the murals of the Painted Church turned out beautifully. SOURCE

Because of it's beauty, and it's history, the Painted Church is now a tourist attraction for many visitors to the Kona coast of Hawai'i, yet it remains a working church, caring to the religious needs of the parish. Regular services are held 5 days each week, with a schedule listed on the webpage for the church, linked above. Weddings, funeral services, baptismals, and other Catholic rites are also held here.

The altar:


Satan and Hell, damaged by sunlight:


A Good Death, showing rays of Hope:


The Temptation of Christ:
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Wherever you go, there you are.

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