St. Benedict's Painted Church

Overlooking the beautiful bay and the Place of Refuge, is St. Benedict's Painted Church, another fascinating place and representative of the early Christian missionaries that settled here. Located up in the coffee growing highlands, the church is noted for its extensive interior paintings, instead of traditional stained-glass windows, used to relate biblical stories to the parishioners. 

Interior altar view

One such story is the "Handwriting on the Wall" taken from the Hebrew scriptures of Daniel. The painting shows Daniel warning the Babylon king to honor the true God with ominous words written in Hawaiian: "You are found wanting and you shall die."  The old testament story concludes with the king's death that very night.  It's a grim warning to the faithful: don't ignore the writing on the wall!

Handwriting on the Wall

The church has been described as a "gothic box" that's shaped in a cross with arches supported on each side by columns. Each column is painted red, splotched green and yellow to suggest marble, and encircled with a painted white ribbon, bearing--in Hawaiian--the proverbs of St. Benedict.

Beatrice or Benedict?

We encountered one of the parish cats, either Beatrice or Benedict,  having a "cat nap" in the rear pew of the church.  The two felines are the church mascots and love to stalk many rabbits seen scurrying about the rectory, graveyard, and gardens.   It always seems to be lively here.

Graveyard garden

AuthorRich Monroe