St. Michael's Church, also called Mahim Church, is one of the oldest existing Portuguese buildings and Catholic churches situated in Mumbai. If you want to learn more about this church, read on.

St. Michael's Church

Location: Lady Jamshedji Road, Mahim West, Mumbai
Highlights: One of the oldest Portuguese buildings and Catholic churches of India.
Nearby Places: Mahim Dargah, Mahim Fort, Worli Sea-link, St. Sebastian Church
Famous For: Virgin Mary's Image, Novena Services and the reported 'Bleeding Christ' portrait.
Timings: 6:30 AM - 11.30 PM everyday

St Michael's Church MumbaiSt. Michael's Church is one of the oldest Catholic Churches in India, let alone Mumbai. The present structure of the church was built in 1973, although the original church was formed way back in the 16th century. The Christmas Mass is immensely popular here and so are the Novena services, which began way back in 1948. It is believed, for the Novena services, devotees would have to attend a special mass for 9 consecutive Wednesdays (called Novena), and once they have done that, their wishes shall come true. Although primarily Catholic, devotees of all faiths are allowed to visit the church and even avail of its services. Most of the time, the church is attractively decorated and is constantly bustling with devotees. In recent history, thousands of devotees thronged the church to witness a reported 'bleeding Christ' image. However, the Parish of the church declined the miracle reports and explained that the red stains on the picture were due to the moisture in the air. If this has already caught your attention and you want to know more about the history, architecture and nearby places, read on.

Mahim Church

History
The original St. Michael's Church is believed to have been built in the early 16th century by a church builder called Antonio do Porto. It is said that during this time, the church was located on the banks of the Mandav and served as a convent. Ever since its construction, the church was frequently rebuilt and restored. Around the 18th century, there was a popular chapel in Bandra known as the 'Our Lady of the Mount'. This building was believed to be destroyed by the Portuguese under British bidding. A famous picture of Virgin Mary, believed to have been rescued from the destroyed chapel, was given refuge at St. Michael's Church. Ever since, the image has remained with the church and is also one of the key attractions at the church.

For a long time after the attack at the chapel, there was growing tension between the Apostolic Vicars and the Padroado Order and eventually, the church was under the apostolic custody for the next 60 years. Following brutal sieges and counterattacks, the custody of the church was finally passed to the Portuguese Padroado Order. One of the only surviving Portuguese buildings, St. Michael's Church serves as a proof of the influence of various colonial powers. The present structure that stands today was rebuilt in 1973.

Architecture
Legend has it that the church was built in 1565. Ever since its construction there were continuous renovations and overhauls till the 20th century, the latest one being in 1973. Today, in parts and places, one can notice that St. Michael's church has reduced to a deteriorated condition. Initially, glass paintings, arched structures, wooden benches, images of Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ gracefully adorned this beautiful Catholic Church. All remnants of Portuguese architecture have long disappeared since the constant and innumerable renovations of the church over the centuries. Now, the structure is just a beige and red magnificent edifice, standing as one of the oldest Portuguese buildings in the city.

Things To Do
A small flea market situated on the pavement opposite the church is ideal to buy candles, garlands, fresh flowers and accessories either for church or for personal use. The Novena service held at church on Wednesdays is a fantastic opportunity to attend a special mass and also get your wishes granted! It is believed that those who attend the Novena services on 9 successive Wednesdays will have their wishes granted.

Nearby Places
  • Mahim Dargah - 4 km
  • Mahim Fort - 7.3 km
  • Worli Sea-link - 3.5 km
  • St. Sebastian Church - 11 km
How To Reach

By Road
You can easily reach St. Michael's Church by boarding a local B.E.S.T bus or even hiring an auto-rickshaw/taxi towards Mahim Church.

By Rail
Mahim Station is the nearest station to St. Michael's church. From here, local transport is easily available to take you to the church.

St. Michael's Church began the Catholic legacy in Mumbai and India. On a daily basis, devotees congregate at the church and attend the daily sermons. The church is bedecked with string lights and flowers during the festive season. A very heart-warming fact about this church is that, its portals are always open for people of all faiths and for those seeking the blessings of Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. If you are planning to visit this church, the best time would be the festive season.