EWTN Catholic Q&A
Prayer with Icons
Question from Anonymous on 06-25-2017:

Who does one petition or venerate when praying in front of Icons? Such as Our Lady holding baby Jesus, or another saint where Jesus is also present or the Holy Family. Is it necessary to make the sign of the Cross more than twice (before and after prayer in front of Icons)?

Answer by Robert Klesko on 10-13-2017:

Thank you for the question!

The veneration of an icon and the accompanying prayers are meant for the person(s) portrayed in the icon. It is customary to make the Sign of the Cross and to kiss the icon, but this is not strictly necessary. The most important thing is the honoring of the person(s) depicted in the icon and the asking for their intercessory prayers.

I'll leave you with this from St. John of Damascus:

"An icon is a song of triumph, and a revelation, and an enduring monument to the victory of the saints and the disgrace of the demons"