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Star of the Sea Painted Church
by Don and Peggy Doman
In 1990, the Star of the Sea Painted Church was moved to its present location just ahead of an advancing lava flow. It's on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is open every day at no charge. When we visited the churche there was no one around.
The Star of the Sea Painted Church was built in 1927-1928 under the direction of the Belgian Catholic missionary priest Father Evarist Gielen. In 1941, George Heidler, an artist from Athens, Georgia, painted the lower panels completing the work started by Gielen. The paintings tell the story of Father Damien Devester, a Belgian priest who helped Hansen's disease (also known as leprosy) patients on the island of Molokai and later died from the disease himself.
The church actually seemed lonely. It was quiet. There was no one around. The front doors were opened for the public to view. The port-o-potties were lined up near the back of the church and the parking lot was fairly large.
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