Little Italy’s Good Friday Procession in Toronto
Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In Toronto the commemoration takes place in Little Italy. The Good Friday procession is a reenacting of the 14 stations of the cross, symbolizing the path Jesus walked before the moment of his crucifixion.
The preparations for the procession take place at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Hundreds of people line the streets of Little Italy to watch the procession where parishioners are dressed as Jesus, Roman soldiers and disciples – carrying statues and banners telling the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.
For the last 46 years, Joseph Rauti (now 76) has played the role of Jesus on his way to the crucifixion.
“It’s a privilege for me to play Jesus,” Rauti says. “I carry the cross, it’s heavy, and even though I’m old now, I want to feel the pain that Jesus felt when he died for us.”