According to Dr. Ragin D’Silva it is very difficult to know the exact date of the erection of the Mother of God Church Palle. According to him Fr. Paolo De Trindade who wrote a book in Portuguese in 1638 mentions about Palle church as the first church outside the Vasai Fort. There is a controversy about this as according to Fr. Conty there was a church in Sandor so called St. Thomas church already in 1566. Nirmal church seem to have built in 1556 and may be the first church outside the Fort. Today the church speaks of Mother of God is being established in 1585. But Fr. Achilles Meersman, a Franciscan dates the Palle church as 1595 as stated in Franciscans in Bombay.
1577-1585Structure and Location
The Church was situated at the Southern end of Bassein (Vasai) opposite the island of Panju. It is difficult to categorically state the exact date the Church was erected. Since it was mentioned in the Franciscan Chapter-lists of 1585, it can be presumed that it was built sometime between 1577 to 1585 (Meersman 1971-184)
According to Paulo de Trindade, there was a very beautiful statute of Our Lady in the Church reiterated by the Franciscan Chronicler that states that the Church was dedicated to the Mother of God and possessed “an image of our Lady of great beauty” “pierced by a sword” for which the people of the area had great devotion. Dr. Regin D’Silva too speaks of the beautiful statue of Our Lady. He shares the story that Fr. Trindade had revealed. It seems there was a heavy storm in May 16,1618 and that night the statue of Our Lady had fallen and a veil was wrapped around her face. It seems there was a priest in residence here in 1635 by name Fr. Antonio. He had written a letter about this church to his superiors in Goa.
Portuguese king had stopped sending financial aid and there was no financial support from the local converts. The churches were then facing financial crises. The annual contribution of the faithful was something like approximately Rs. 750-00 per year says Silva Reg in Documentacao. This would mean that the average Sunday collection would be Rs. 10-00 besides the feast day or Christmas or Lenten contribution
There was a monastery of the Franciscan at Palle in 1730. Fr. Humbert informs us that the Franciscan fathers quit during the Maratha invasion in 1739 and it appears that the church and the Friary built by the Franciscans in honour of the Immaculate Conception, was destroyed during this invasion.
The Church in palle was rebuilt between 1840-44 on a new site about a hundred feet west of the original site. Even to this day the people of Vasai refer to this Church by its Portuguese name “Mae de Deus”. In 1854 the Catholic population of Palle was 1215 and in 1859 it was 1397.
Rev. Fr. Manuel Salvador Pimenta on 13 June 1932 had bought for Mother of God Church a Title No. 609 from Nathea Govind Thakur survey No. 8 Hissa 4 and total land was 4 ½ gunthas and another piece of land from survey no. 9 hissa no.10 i.e. about 9 gunthas for Rs. 299/- only.
The same priests bought 4 gunthas land in Pardi no. 24 and 7 guntha land from pardi no. 15 from Celestine Jerome D’Souza for Rs. 395 as title no. 838 on Sept. 23, 1937.
Fr. M.S Pimenta was wise enough to buy another land for Mother of God Church on January 31, 1939 from Tomu Jesinho D’Silva 11 gunthas from survey no 7 and 1 guntha from pardi no 13 for Rs. 495. This was title no 159.
The parish priest Fr. Pimenta took another step to buy a land from Dharma Devu Bhoir on May 29, 1942. 1 acre and 37 gunthas from survey no 88 hissa 1; and 1 acre 31½ gunthas from survey No. 88 hissa 3 for Rs. 495/-
Fr. J. Miranda may have come to this church from June 1942. In August 20, that year he bought a land from Pandurang Shinga Janglicha a koli measuring 20¼ from survey no. 8 and hissa no 1 for Rs. 299/- only.
He also did another deal for Rs. 799/- and bought land from Janardan Nathubhai Thakur on Jan.1, 1943. This was 5¾ gunthas from survey no. 9 hissa no 10/1 and 6¾ gunthas from survey no. 9 hissa 12.
All this land was leased in favour of Zuzu Thomu D’Mello and Francis Zuzu D’Mello on June 3, 1942.