1892 – 1938 (September 18)
John Francis O'Brien, son of Timothy O’Brien and Mary Donohue, was born in New York City, New York, on October 24, 1892. He was raised in the Parish of St. Francis Xavier there. After completing a year’s education at St. Peter High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, he spent three years at Villanova, and entered the novitiate there on June 25, 1915. He professed simple vows on June 25, 1916, and solemn vows on June 25, 1919. Following studies, he was ordained to the priesthood on September 24, 1922. He received an M.A. from the Catholic University of America in 1923, and was awarded a Doctorate of Literature, honoris causa, in 1928 from Dayton University.
Father O’Brien first taught at Saint Rita High School in Chicago, Illinois, and later he was assigned to Villanova College, where he taught English for many years. He was the author of "The Philosophy of Composition," and "An Outline History of American Literature."
Father O'Brien died in Saint Mary's Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 18, 1938 at the age of 46. Among his survivors was his father, a brother and two sisters.
Following the Funeral Mass at Villanova on Wednesday, September 21, 1938, Father O’Brien was buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.