TORONTO — Mayor Rob Ford had another “come to Jesus moment,” but this time it didn’t have anything to do with not drinking.
In fact, during the annual Good Friday procession in Little Italy, he experienced it twice.
Ford posed for pictures with two parishioners portraying Jesus Christ during his life and resurrection — one who was continuously mock-whipped by Roman soldiers throughout the parade and the other carrying the weight of a large crucifix on his shoulder.
“Amazing, he looks so young,” Ford said of Joe Ruta, 75, still dressed in his Jesus ensemble, before having his photo taken with him. “Guaranteed, things (in Toronto) are getting better. It’s always getting better. As long as I’m mayor it will keep improving.”
Moments before, Ford also mugged with a group of seven men dressed as Roman soldiers and Fabio Gesufatto, who played Jesus being flogged and mocked as king. When asked what it was like to stand beside Jesus, the mayor responded with, “Thank you, thank you.”
“It was a good feeling meeting the mayor,” said Gesufatto, president of the National Congress of Italian Canadians, who has taken on this role for the past 16 years. “He’s been supporting our cause and he’s marched in the procession. I truly respect that.”
Reporter Jenny Yuen and photographer Craig Robertson provided live updates, including video.