1 Now there was at Caesarea a man named Cornelius, a captain in the Italian regiment.
2 He was a devout man and God-fearing, and so were all his household. He gave many alms to the people, and constantly prayed to God.
3 About three oclock one afternoon he had a vision, and distinctly saw an angel of God enter his house and say to him, "Cornelius."
4 He stared at him in terror, and said, "What is it, Lord?" "Your prayers and your alms have risen for a memorial before God," answered the angel;
5 "and now send men to Joppa and fetch one Simon, who is called Peter.
6 "He is staying as a guest with Simon, a tanner, whose house is near the sea."
7 And after the angel who was speaking to him was gone, he called two of his household servants and a devout soldier who was in constant attendance upon him,
8 and after telling them everything, he sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day, while they were still on their way and were approaching the town, about noon, Peter went up to the housetop to pray.
10 He had become very hungry and longed for food; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance.
11 He beheld the sky opened, and a vessel descending like an enormous sail let down to earth by four corners.
12 In it were all kinds of quadrupeds and creeping things of the earth, and wild birds.
13 A voice came to him, saying, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat."
14 "Not so, my Lord," answered Peter, "for I have never yet eaten anything common and unclean."
15 And again a second time came to him a voice, saying, "What God has cleansed you must not call common."
16 This happened three times; and immediately the sail was drawn up into the sky.
17 Now while Peter was greatly perplexed to know what the vision which he had been sent by Cornelius, and had made inquiries for the house of Simon, stood at the gate,
18 and called and asked whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there.
19 So the Spirit said to Peter, who was still pondering over the vision.
20 "Three men are now looking for you. Rise, go down and go with them, nothing doubting; for it is I who have sent them."
21 So Peter went down to the men and said. "I am the man you are looking for. What is the reason of your coming?"
22 "Cornelius," they answered, "a captain, a devout man, and God- fearing, of whom the whole, Jewish nation speaks well, was instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to listen to your message."
23 So he invited them in and gave them lodging. The next day he rose, and went off with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied them;
24 and the day after that they reached Caesarea. There Cornelius was waiting for them, and had brought together all his relatives and intimate friends.
25 When Peter entered the house Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him;
26 but Peter lifted him up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man, myself."
27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found a large company assembled.
28 To them he said. "You know, yourselves, that it is illegal for a Jew to associate with or to visit one of another nation; but God has taught me that I should not call any man common or unclean. For this reason, when sent for, I came without demur.
29 "I ask therefore why you sent for me."
30 Cornelius answered. "Three days ago, at this very hour, I was praying in my house at three oclock in the afternoon, when suddenly a man in a shining robe stood by me,
31 and said. "Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32 "So send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. He is lodging with Simon the tanner, in a house by the seaside.
33 "So I sent for you without delay, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to listen to what the Lord has commanded you to speak."
34 Then Peter began to speak. "Of a truth I begin to see quite plainly that God is no respecter of persons;
35 "but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.
36 "You cannot but know the message which he sent to the descendants of Israel, when he preached the gospel of peace by Jesus Christ who is Lord of all;
37 "you know the message spread throughout all Judea, beginning in Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about everywhere doing good, and curing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with him.
39 "And we were witnesses of all that he did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him, hanging him on a tree.
40 "But him God raised up on the third day, and permitted him to be made manifest,
41 "not to all the people, but to witnesses - men previously chosen by God - that is, to us, who ate and drank with him after he had risen from the dead;
42 "when he charged us to preach to the people, and to testify that this was he whom God ordained to be the judge of the living and of the dead.
43 "To him all the prophets bear witness, testifying that through his name every one that believes on him will receive remission of sins."
44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message.
45 And all the Jewish believers who had accompanied Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Gentiles also.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
47 Then Peter said, "Can any one refuse water for the baptism of these men who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?"
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they begged him to remain with them for a time.