There are no authentic documents to prove the establishment of this Pilgrim Centre. However evidences are there to prove that this church has existed during the period when Sakthan Thampuran (1775-1790) reigned over the erstwhile Cochin Province. It is believed that the church which is an epitome of an ancient era, dating back to the 14th Century, was established on September 8, 1381.
The church has many popular beliefs woven around it. Six centuries back Kerala was divided into numerous provinces ruled by kings and landlords. Two of such neighbouring landlords were Koratty Kaimal and Kodassery Kartha. The descendents of these two feudal lords live in Koratty even now, and this adds on to the authenticity of this belief about the origin of the Koratty Church. Under the feudal lord, Koratty Kaimal, many Christians served in the army. In a battle between Kaimal and Kartha many were killed. Sri Kavalakkadan Kochu Vareed, the commander of the Kaimal army was one among the dead. At the time the Catholics had only one church in that area - at Ambazhakkad. Kaimal made all arrangements for the funeral of Sri. Kochu Vareed to be held in full military honours and religious rituals at the Ambazhakkad church. But his rival, Kodassery Kartha interfered and the burial could not take place there. The funeral procession had to return. In between, the pall-bearers had to rest and they placed the coffin down. When they tried to lift the coffin again they found to their astonishment, that it was firmly stuck to the ground and they could not lift. Knowing this, Koratty Kaimal made all arrangements for the burial there itself and gave instruction to build a church for the welfare of his Christian subjects. Today at that spot stands a granite stone cross. Kaimal gave away lots of land, free from tax, to sustain the rituals in the church. This church gradually was known as the Marian Pilgrim Centre of Koratty Muthy.
The history of ancient churches in Kerala is associated with Hindu Feudal Lords. The beginning of Koratty church is associated with Hindu Land lord, Thampuratty (queen) of Koratty
Swaroopam. There were many landlords in Kochi region from the Middle Ages. Koratty Kaimal and Kodassery kartha were the two major feudal lords of Kochi royal family. Feudal Lords were also known as Swaroopams. There were independent army and soldiers for swaroopams. The Feudal lords were given authority to rule independently and even to give death sentence with keeping loyalty to the king. These two feudal lords used to conflict and fight between each other. Kodungalloor, Angamaly and Ambazhakad were the ancient Christian centers of Kerala.
Ambazhakad church was established in A. D. 300. Ambazhakad church was the parish of the Christians who resided at Koratty. Christians had acquired military training. They used to go to the church wearing sword and shield. The position, eminence, humbleness and truthfulness of Christians in business, agriculture and military service were the reasons for getting fondness of Hindu rulers. Ambazhakad church was under the administrative rule of Kodassery Kartha.
Koratty was the administrative region of Koratty Kaimal. The Nairs were under Kartha and Christians were under Kaimal for military service. They used to fight each other. Kodassery Kartha was much ahead in military power than Koratty Kaimal. Sri Kavalakkadan Kochu Vareeth was the chief commander of the Kaimal’s army. (It is told that in Ambazhakad parish, namboodiris from five families (Illam) got baptized and became Christians. Kavalakad family was one among them.) Kochu vareed’s leadership and military strategies lead the Kaimal’s party close to victory, but then Kochu vareed had to embrace heroic death by the sword of the enemies unexpectedly. But Thampuratty (the queen), the ruler of the Koratty Swaroopam, bravely led the army and won the battle Thampuratty was so sad in the puerile death of Kochu Vareeth , who was the chief commander of her army and the chief advisor. Thampuratty gave orders to conduct the funeral according to Christian rituals and in full military honours. The chief commander’s dead body was taken to Ambazhakad church for funeral. As Ambazhakad parish was under the administrative area of Kodassery, due to his interference the vicar did not give permission to bury the body there. They were asked to take the coffin from that place. In the return procession, carrying the coffin to Koratty region, the weary pall-bearers placed the coffin down. After rest, they could not take or lift the coffin from there. When they informed this to the Thampuratty, order was given to bury the body there itself. In reverence to the chief commander, a cross in granite, of around 20 feet height and 12 inches depth, was established there. This is the granite cross that stands in front of the church even now.
Thampuratty constructed a church near the place where he buried his chief commander, and given to Christians as she understood that it is not easy to accomplish the spiritual needs
from Ambazhakkadu church for the Christians living in that region. Land and many articles were given for the performance of church activities and rituals. Land was exempted from taxes. Construction work was started on 15th of August, 1381. Construction of the church was completed and consecrated on 8th of September, 1382.
The church constructed at the time of establishment of Koratty parish was small and with less decorative works. But after Diampher Synod, when the influence of Portuguese was enforced on the Marthoma Christians, their influence was also appeared in the construction of the churches. As a part of church renovation, a church was built with high walls, wide doors and with high gothic style frontage. In 1790, Koratty church was attacked during Tipu’s military conquest in Travancore and Kochi kingdoms. Tipu’s army set fire to church. Roof was destroyed in fire, but there was no damage to the walls. The same walls were maintained and the roof and altar were newly constructed. The same church which was demolished on 1985, was re- consecrated on 8th of September 1987. the old Koratty church had three parts, namely, Altar (Madbaha), hykala ( place where people stand),and Nadapura. Besides, there was podium (pushpam) inside the church, for delivering speech. The chapel which was situated south to the old church was a warehouse of sculptural artistry. The altar which is seen now is the same of the old one. ‘Ratal’ with branches of grapevine, the statue of sacred heart with extol by angels underneath, is placed in the central. Above that, full size picture of Virgin Mary accompanied by angels, and statue of twelve apostles are seen. Beneath those statues, the statues of Sacred Heart, Koratty muthy, St. Joseph, St. Rosa are placed in roopa koodu (statue cases) in two rows.